Minister in the Scottish government have offered their support to the plan to add a third runway at Heathrow Airport, pointing to significant strategic and economic benefits for Scotland.
The UK government at Westminster has repeatedly delayed a decision on the expansion, with a second runway at Gatwick Airport also under consideration.
Key to the Scottish government support of Heathrow is a potential 16,000 new jobs north of the border.
If the expansion goes ahead, about £200 million would be spent on construction in Scotland, £10 million for new domestic routes, and there would be a commitment to investigate Prestwick Airport as a potential site for a logistics hub to support the building of the third runway.
Welcoming the Scottish endorsement of a third runway at Heathrow as best for Scotland, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “An expanded Heathrow would create up to 16,000 jobs in Scotland.
“It would facilitate more airlines flying routes to Scottish airports, meaning more flights, more competition and choice for families and businesses across the nation.
“That also means more visitors to Scotland, more destinations for Scottish tourists and more opportunity for Scottish businesses to reach new export markets.
“This partnership demonstrates how Heathrow expansion can work for every region and nation of the UK.”
Gatwick Airport issued a release questioning the decision.
“We are surprised that the Scottish government has chosen to support a proposal which we believe will undermine Scotland’s connections with the world, making it more dependent on London and the south-east of England and restricting the choice available to Scottish travellers by forcing more of them to fly through London.
“Furthermore, some of the suggested benefits to Scotland are unlikely to bear serious scrutiny, which makes the decision all the more curious.
“However, we are confident that expansion will happen at Gatwick and that competition will prevail over the old-fashioned monopoly being planned by Heathrow.
“That would be the best outcome for Scotland,” read the release.