A WARNING has been made that Scottish aviation is being left behind due to the lack of a testing strategy.
AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, Edinburgh Airport and Airlines UK, the industry association representing UK-registered airlines, have called on the Scottish Government to make urgent progress on the introduction of an effective testing regime that will enable the safe restart of aviation and protect thousands of jobs.
It comes on the day a test to release scheme for international travel is launched in England.
From today, passengers arriving into England will be able to reduce mandatory quarantine by at least a week by taking a COVID-19 test after five days of quarantine. A negative result will release them from the need to self-isolate.
Passengers can book and pay for a COVID-19 test from a private provider on an approved government list, ensuring the NHS Test and Trace testing capacity is protected.
There is no similar strategy in place for Scotland.
Derek Provan, AGS Airports chief executive, said: “Today, airports and airlines in England can start making plans to safely restart international travel and get the aviation industry moving again.
“There are no such plans in place for Scotland. We now risk being left behind as airlines will opt to relocate their aircraft and with them what’s left of our connectivity and the jobs that rely on them.
“We have been calling for the introduction of a testing regime for months and despite putting proposals in front of the Scottish Government, we’re no further forward.
“We can’t have a piecemeal approach when it comes to reopening aviation which is why we need to see urgent progress from the Scottish Government on the introduction of testing which needs to go hand-in-hand with the vaccination roll-out.”