Edinburgh Airport plan seeks to preserve jobs during crisis

Edinburgh Airport has launched an action plan in a bid to ensure it stays both open and operational during the Coronavirus pandemic.

By Roy Beers
Friday, 20th March 2020, 10:44 am

Like other airports across the UK it is facing “zero ot close to zero” passenger demand for the forseeable future, but plans to “protect as many jobs as possible” while striving to be ready to return to full operations when the virus threat is finally removed,

The main action points are -

Terminal consolidation, with certain areas closed and the centralisation of operations

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Masks and, gloves have been much in evidence at the airport this week.

Deferring expenditure on some capital projects

Powering down high consuming energy items - like elements of the baggage system, and heating and cooling systems - on parts of the airport that are closed

A number of retailers and food and beverage outlets suspending operations

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “This is an unprecedented time not only for the aviation industry but for everyone, as we all do what we can to ensure the health of ourselves and of those around us.

“For us, that includes the health of our airport.

“Our plan is based on keeping the airport open throughout and being there for those people who are still travelling, and those staff members who are making that travel possible”,

He added: “We’re in a situation which is ever changing, and as more countries enforce travel bans or special measures then it stands to reason that airlines will feel that impact and airports then feel that pain too.

“Unfortunately, that is happening now and we are trying to mitigate as best as we can and steer the airport through this situation in preparation for what comes next – and that is the biggest unknown in all of this.

“The airport is a facilitator of many things, that is our main role.

“Yes, we transport people around the world but it’s what those people bring that is the true value – they are our inward and outward tourists, they are our business leaders, they are our students and lecturers, they are our scientists and researchers.

“All of these things are important in the wider Scottish economy and we are doing what we can to ensure we are ready to return towards normal when the time comes.”

He welcomes pledges of financial support from the UK and Scottish governments, but added: “We welcome the collaboration there has been with both governments at this critical time but we will need continued support to ensure that the aviation industry is able to play its part in the country’s economic recovery.

“Along with other UK airports, we ask both governments to come together and show unity and support with the industry to help us weather this storm and come out of it still standing and ready to move forward again.”