Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened Edinburgh Airport’s £75m (US$94m) terminal expansion, the biggest project in a generation at the airport.
Part of a wider £200m (US$250m) investment program at Scotland’s busiest airport, the expansion enhances the airport’s connectivity options and will support passenger growth to 20 million passengers per year.
The expansion delivers new gates, new aircraft stands and new international and domestic passenger arrivals halls, as well as new baggage reclaim areas and an extended immigration hall. It also has new retail and food and beverage outlets, including Scottish craft brewers BrewDog’s first airport bar.
It is also the start of a larger program of investment in key terminal and airfield facilities over the next five years, with almost £300m (US$375m) due to be spent on a new baggage system, more new stands, improved check-in facilities and a new access road.
The First Minister was given a tour of the terminal expansion by Gordon Dewar, the airport’s chief executive. She also spoke to staff and passengers in the Special Assistance seating area, which was designed with the help of users.
Sturgeon said, “I am delighted to open this terminal expansion, further establishing Edinburgh Airport as a gateway to Scotland from the rest of the UK and internationally.
“Edinburgh Airport not only supports our business and tourism sectors but employs 700 people directly and 7,000 through partner businesses – I was particularly pleased to meet engineering apprentices who are learning their trade in a fast-paced environment such as aviation.
“This £75m (US$95m) investment will future-proof the airport. As an outward-looking nation, it is now more important than ever that we enhance connectivity with our European partners and with the rest of the world.”
Dewar added, “This is of course an investment in Edinburgh Airport but it’s also an investment in Scotland’s economy and future as we are a facilitator of many things, from business and tourism to culture and education.”