Date lodged: 12 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how much money it has provided to (a) each airport and (b) support air travel in each of the last five years, and what information it has on how this has been used.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 9 August 2016
a) Table 1 outlines the funding that the Scottish Government has provided to airports in the last five years. Funding for Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports is to support business development. The bulk of funding to Glasgow Prestwick Airport is in the form of loans at a commercial rate of interest to meet the airport’s operational costs following the Scottish Government’s acquisition of the airport on 22 November 2013. We expect all loan funding, including interest, will be repaid. Remaining funding was provided to assist in business development. Funding provided to Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) is to meet its operating costs and to fund its capital investment programme.
Table 1: Scottish Government funding to airports 2011-12 to 2015-16
Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd
b) Table 2 outlines the funding that the Scottish Government has provided to support air travel in the last five years. The Scottish Government used the bulk of this funding to operate the Air Discount Scheme and fund the Glasgow to Campbeltown, Tiree and Barra air services. Those areas also account for the majority of the increase in spend over the period. Destination marketing campaigns drive demand for travel to Scotland which in turn supports airlines serving those destinations. Part of that activity involves funding partnership marketing campaigns in which airlines choose to participate. As part of our efforts to improve Scotland’s air connectivity, the Scottish Government also funds research and promotional work to encourage more direct air services to Scotland. Funding of the marketing campaigns and research work is also included within the amounts shown in Table 2.
Table 2: Scottish Government funding to support air travel 2011-12 to 2015-16
Figures in both Tables 1 and 2 include cash funding provided by Transport Scotland, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.