Glasgow Airport contributes £1.44 billion to the Scottish economy, according to a new study which suggests the figure could rise to £2.57 billion by 2040.
The executive summary carried out by York Aviation – The Economic Impact of Glasgow Airport – also said the airport is projected to almost double its passenger numbers to 17 million a year, up from 9.7 million currently.
It indicated the airport supports more than 30,000 jobs across Scotland, with this number also potentially rising to 43,000 by 2040, and in 2017 the airport also handled more than £3.5 billion in global imports and exports.
Managing director Mark Johnston welcomed the news and used the opportunity to again call for progress in the proposed rail link to the airport.
He said: “This study confirms the huge economic benefits the airport generates for the city and Scotland each year. The findings are very encouraging and show that when Glasgow Airport succeeds Scotland shares the benefit.
“We have invested more than £130 million in our facilities since 2011 and have a strategy in place through our master plan to put us on the path to becoming a 17-million passenger airport by 2040.
“We can’t do this on our own and it is imperative that through the ongoing support of our city and national partners we ensure Glasgow Airport continues to thrive and deliver for Scotland.
“To do this we also need to address the current constraints such as motorway congestion and delivering the planned rail link.”
Bob Grant, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive, added: “Delivery of the planned rail-link is an essential component of that strategy and will support Glasgow Airport as they continue to invest many millions for the benefit of our economy.”
As part of the investment into facilities, £8 million is currently being invested to upgrade the airport ahead of Emirates operating a Dubai service – on the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the A380 – from this April.
A new advanced manufacturing innovation district by the airport is also estimated to create up to 10,000 additional jobs.
Two tenants have already been confirmed in the £56 million medical manufacturing innovation centre and the £65 million national manufacturing institute for Scotland.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, also MSP for Renfrewshire North and West where the airport is based, said: “Renfrewshire benefits hugely from having Glasgow Airport on our doorstep, forming a vital part of our local community.
“The economic growth and jobs the airport brings to the local area, and to the wider west of Scotland region, is massive and has had a huge positive knock-on effect throughout Renfrewshire and the surrounding areas.”
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick added: “The results of this study further reinforce the view that Glasgow Airport is the west of Scotland’s most important transport hub and strengthens the case for it having a nationally-funded direct rail connection.
“The ambition is there and the Glasgow Airport team does a first-class job in pitching the city as a strong investment destination for the world’s airlines.”