Edinburgh Airport Praises New Tourism Campaign

Rebecca Sawyers

A new design exhibition is being planned at Edinburgh Airport as part of a new tourism campaign to celebrate 2016 as the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The Scottish Design Expo will include a  shop, events exhibiting the country’s most important designers and makers, and a pop-up exhibition.

The campaign will include a sound and light installation at St Andrew Square and a celebration of style at the National Museum of Scotland. The Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Royal Botanic Garden and the Filmhouse will also be taking part.

The Filmhouse will be showing a selection of specially chosen films inspired by the tourism campaign. The series of chosen films will be showing for a month during the campaign.

There will be a special weekend of special activities  hosted by The Botanic Garden, celebrating of the official launch of an 18th century cottage.

There are set to be more than 420 events taking place for the Scottish Government-backed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, which will highlight celebrations of the country’s food and drink, wild landscapes and culture.

The £800,000 initiative will include a dedicated Festival of Architecture running from spring until autumn, and aims to “shine the spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems”.

The Science Festival will be organising the installation of a series of “tiny homes”, which will be an example of portable living spaces, giving people insight in to what downsized living accommodation looks like across the city.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

“Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years. From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.

“The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 are diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”

The campaign will round off with a grand two-day finale, featuring a late night party, in the capital.

 

 

 

Edinburgh Airport hosts public safety event for Counter Terrorism Awareness Week

By Marion Guichaoua

Police Scotland will be present today at Edinburgh Airport to alert the public about safety travel, as part of Counter Terrorism Awareness Week.

Police Scotland,  the British Transport Police are amongst UK forces taking part in Counter Terrorism Awareness Week which will run from Monday 24 November until Sunday 30 November 2014.

They will be present in transport hubs all across the UK to help the public understand the threat to the UK and emphasise the importance of reporting any suspicious activity.

The Police Scotland website explains that: “The aim is not to alarm the public. No one is better placed to notice someone or something out of place within a community than those who live and work in that community.”

Staff who work across transport hubs will receive training to look out for suspicious behaviour and learn what they should do if an attack should happen.

Speaking ahead of the Safer Travel Days, Superintendent Alan Crawford said: “Police Scotland Border Policing Command welcomes this opportunity to raise the awareness of Counter Terrorism across the transport hubs and wider business community in Scotland.

“Airports and seaports are vibrant transport hubs where the public work and transit on a daily basis. These ports are, in their own right, communities where there is an opportunity for us all to report suspicious activity no matter how insignificant this may seem.

“At a time of increased threat levels, and with the focus on Syria and the Middle East, it is vital that collectively we work together to protect our border.”

Police Scotland also said: “Although the threat level has recently been increased to severe, meaning that a terrorist attack in the UK is “Highly Likely” there is no specific intelligence of any planned attack, however this raised threat level does mean that we all need to be vigilant.”

During Counter Terrorism Awareness Week, the focus will be on five key areas: vigilance in crowded places and transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, preventing financing of terrorist groups and ensuring the safety and security of goods and materials which could be used by terrorists.

There will be a range of activities taking place across Scotland including increased police patrols and additional training for those responsible for safety and security of buildings, businesses and neighbourhoods to help them recognise, respond to and report any suspicious activity.

Today also sees The Safer Travel Day initiative being held at airports and ports across Scotland where travelers will receive information and advice to help keep them safe.

David Wilson, Chief Operating Officer at Edinburgh Airport, said: “Keeping our passengers safe and secure is our number one priority and we work very closely with Police Scotland to ensure Edinburgh Airport is a safe environment for everyone.

“By supporting Counter Terrorism Week we’re playing our part in a much wider operation to ensure the safety of all passengers and employees. Events like today’s Safer Travel Day are vital to help educate people on how to spot potentially suspicious behaviour.”

“There will be high visibility police patrols throughout the airport with officers available today to talk to passengers and staff about how to spot potentially suspicious behaviour.

“Police Scotland is also working with OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator to remind everyone to be cautious of donating to charity via third parties.

“OSCR’s Head of Engagement, Judith Turbyne, said:”We are pleased to support Counter-Terrorism Awareness Week, to alert the public in making sure that they check the organisations seeking donations from them.

“As with any requests for donations, there are a number of simple checks that you can make.  You can check the Scottish Charity Register and view our guide to Safer Giving at www.oscr.org.uk.”

 

Man Hunt After Gun Drama At Airport

Benjamin Bland

Police have launched a man hunt after gunshots were fired at a house near Edinburgh airport.

Initial reports were received at 9:30pm on Monday. An investigation started immediately resulting in the closure of the A8.

The road was closed for 12 hours in both directions between Newbridge Roundabout and Edinburgh Airport to allow forensic officers to carry out a detailed search of the area.

Police have said that no one was injured but have appealed to the public for any information.  There is increased anxiety after it was confirmed that the police were not treating the incident as a random act. There has been some speculation that the shots were an attempted gangland hit on a local convicted fraudster.

Police Scotland Superintendent Matt Richards said: “This incident took place close to one of the main routes to and from Edinburgh. It is always busy with passing traffic. I would appeal to any member of the public, either locally, or who may have been passing through Ratho Station at or around 9.30pm last night and who saw anything to contact us urgently.

It is imperative that we trace the individual involved in this incident, which thankfully did not result in any injuries. The consequences of a weapon being discharged in the manner which happened last night may have been extremely serious.

“Anyone with any information can contact the 101 Police number or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.”

Edinburgh Evening News

Traffic chaos near the airport.            Credit: Edinburgh Evening News

Air passengers faced disruption due to the road closure as they struggled with heavy traffic and diversions as they attempted to catch their flights.

Many took to twitter to express their frustration with one disgruntled traveller commenting:

“Due to incident on A8 arrived at 6:02am, bag check in closes 6am. No leeway. V upset.”

The quick response by police was reflective of heightened security in Scotland after the attempted terrorist attacks in Glasgow Airport in 2007.

Superintendent Richards said : “Uniformed officers are in the area to provide extra patrols to support the local community.”

Threat removed at Edinburgh Airport

by Orla Ni Sheaghdha

 

The terminal at Edinburgh Airport has been reopened. The airport was evacuated when a suspicious package was left in the terminal building, which has since been dealt with by authorities.  Edinburgh Napier News spoke exclusively to the airport media office. “The threat’s been stood down. There was a suspect package that’s been made safe and we are now reopen.” There has been no knock-on effect on flights.

Tune in to the radio bulletin for more information.

Suspicious package cleared at Edinburgh Airport. Image: Flickr.com

 

Edinburgh airport up for sale despite recent passenger boost

By Sarah Vesty

Plane waits in the wing for decision

The UK’s biggest airport firm, BAA, has released figures showing a 3.5 per cent passenger increase at Edinburgh airport last month, despite losing their appeal against the Competition Commission to continue owning Stanstead, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. Glasgow experienced a fall of 7.4 per cent compared to last year.

Following the Court of Appeals decision to uphold the demand made by the Competition Commission, BAA was given 28 days to appeal. A spokesperson from their media office commented that although the appeal limit had expired, BAA was still considering further legal action against the CC.

In October the Court agreed with the Competition Commission believing that to create sufficient competition amongst airports, BAA must sell some of its airports to enable fare prices to fall for customers, particularly those in Scotland.

The numbers of passengers will not affect the decision of which airport to sell in Scotland. A BAA spokesperson stated that:

“It is complicated. It depends on lots of factors like when we have to sell it, how much money it will be for and so on. It’s good that Edinburgh is doing well. It’s important that it does well even if it’s being sold.”

The figures were published following the expiration of the set 28-day appeal period granted to BAA by the Court of Appeal. It found in favour of the Competition Commission who had demanded that the organisation must sell Stanstead and either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

The Supreme Court has no record of any further legal action being raised so far and the airport firm commented that it could be a while before we see any final decisions made.

Christopher Clarke, Chairman of the BAA Airports Inquiry outlined the reasons behind the move:

“We have decided that the only way to address comprehensively the detriment to passengers and airlines from the complete absence of competition between BAA’s south-east airports and between Edinburgh and Glasgow is to require BAA to sell both Gatwick and Stansted as well as either Edinburgh or Glasgow.”

A 3.4 percent overall increase in passengers travelling was revealed by the group, believed to have been helped by a 1.2 percent increase in the number of flights. Of all airports up for sale Edinburgh was the only one to see an increase as Stanstead fell by 3.1 percent compared to the same month last year.

Scottish news in brief

Gerard Kelly dies suddenly age 51

Gerard Kelly, who died on Thursday evening aged 51

 

Scottish actor Gerard Kelly has died in intensive care after suffering a brain aneurysm. Famous for parts in City Lights, Rab C Nesbitt and Extras, Kelly collapsed at his London home on Tuesday and passed away on Thursday evening. He was due to appear in The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow next month, as well as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in December. A private service will be held for family and close friends, with details of a memorial service to be announced later.

Scottish Labour would cap council tax rise

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray has announced he would cap council tax rises at one or two percent if his party to power at the Holyrood election next May. He has also suggested a public sector pay freeze of up to three years and warned the highest paid civil servants could see their pay cut by 5%, and launched Labour’s ‘doorstep election’ campaign at the Scottish Labour conference which is taking place in Oban.

Victim’s fathers to write to killer Tobin

Two fathers are to write to Peter Tobin pleadin

Edinburgh Airport terminal building

g to know why he murdered their daughters. Ian McNicol and Michael Hamilton are working together on the letters which they hope will provoke Tobin, who is serving life sentences for the murders of Dinah McNicol, Vicky Hamilton and Angelika Kluk, into confessing his motives. Mr Hamilton, whose daughter disappeared in Bathgate in 1991, told the BBC: “We want to get some kind of reaction from him, we are hoping it will upset him.”

Edinburgh airport drop-off charge introduced

A £1 drop-off charge for every car and taxi taking passengers to the terminal at Edinburgh airport has been introduced. BAA say the charge has been brought in to solve congestion problems caused by a lack of space  for cars to stop. A free drop-off zone is still in use at the long-stay car park which requires a shuttle bus transfer to the terminal building; the airport has bought two new buses for passengers using the free drop-off area.

State of the art scanners to improve diagnosis

New scanners at a specialised £20m centre in Edinburgh are to be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. The Clinical Research Imaging Centre, a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, is the first centre of its kind in the UK. It is based at the Medical Research Institute in Little France and will be opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. The scanners allow non-invasive investigations, reduce the need for biopsies and mean doctors can scan organs in  under a second to see in great detail how they are functioning.

Stowaway spider sparks plane chaos

By Gordon Smith

An Edinburgh-bound plane was grounded yesterday as an exotic spider sparked panic in the cabin. The British Airways flight from London Heathrow had landed at the Scottish capital’s airport just moments prior to the alarm being raised. The unnamed male passenger was aboard the Airbus A319 aircraft when he spotted the eight-legged minibeast crawling between his feet, and informed the cabin crew.

British Airways spokesman Denny McGee told Edinburgh Napier News, “The gentleman in question said that having travelled extensively, he was “familiar with spiders” and as a result knew what he had seen.

“This is a very rare incident for a domestic flight in the United Kingdom, and as such I have never encountered anything of this nature in my many years in the business”.

A British Airways A319 Plane (courtesy of Flickr: Albspotter)

A British Airways Airbus A319 (Courtesy of Flickr: Albspotter)

The search for the hairy creature caused havoc with BA’s morning schedule, with the following 9:05am shuttle service from Edinburgh to Heathrow cancelled whilst specialist teams were drafted in.

It is understood that fumigators from the South-East of England flown to the scene yesterday were left “clueless”, with no sign of the spider being found.

A BA insider admitted, “Despite exhaustive efforts and all appropriate action, our specialists were unable to find anything. So yes, it could still be out there”.

An Edinburgh Airport spokeswoman said, “All passengers disembarked the aircraft safely, and all 120 of those due to travel on the cancelled flight were accommodated in our subsequent departures”.

Tarantulas are infamous for their hairy legs and bodies, with certain species being able to grow to almost one foot long. Although not native to the United Kingdom, they are more widespread on the continent and have previously been discovered in fruit and vegetable cargo imports.

Tram Works Uncover Airport Bomb

By Andrew Stewart

An unexploded ordnance device was uncovered yesterday on Burnside road which is in the vicinity of the main terminal of Edinburgh International airport by tram line workers yesterday.

A spokesman for the airport said yesterday, “At 10am a suspected unexploded ordnance device was discovered near the main terminal of Edinburgh Airport”. The spokesman continued, “This followed ongoing excavation works that are taking place as part of the Edinburgh tram work”.

The British Airport Authority (BAA) said that despite the bomb scare the airport worked as normal throughout.

The main Terminal at Edinburgh Airport

The main Terminal at Edinburgh Airport

Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE), the company in charge of building the new tram lines throughout Scotland’s capital insist that the incident has caused no delay to the work on the lines.

Customer services director, Mandy Haeburn-Little said of the incident, “Bomb disposal experts were immediately called to the scene and have now removed the object. The airport operated normally throughout and no flights were affected.”

“as soon as it was discovered , the relevant authorities were notified and appropriate action taken to ensure the safety of anyone in the vicinity”

Before being under control by the ministry of aviation from 1960 onwards, Edinburgh airport was owned by the Ministry of Defense and used as a military airport being the most northerly defense base during the Great War. It is though that this is where the shell originated but as of late last night it is still unsure.

Lothian and Borders police later announced that an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team had safely removed the device and conducted a controlled explosion.

BAA to lose Edinburgh airport?

By Greg Lorraine

BAA, the owners of Edinburgh Airport, may be forced by the Competition Commission to sell the operation. The Spanish-owned company, which runs seven airports in the UK, have been told the decision is necessary in order to improve airport services. BAA also face losing their Gatwick and Stansted airports. It is hoped that separate ownership of the three main London airports and the two main Scottish ones would see more competition in the areas, with each operator having a greater incentive to meet the needs of their customers. The Commission has based the decision on figures showing that only about one in 20 flying from Glasgow is from the East of Scotland, with one in 25 who use Edinburgh coming from the West. Gordon Dewar, managing director of Edinburgh Airport, said there is still time to show the move should not be made and believes passengers will not benefit from it. The Commission also said it was proposing measures at Aberdeen airport, which is also owned by BAA, to promote investment linked to rebates on charges. Experts predict there would be considerable interest in buying Edinburgh Airport, which is the largest and most profitable in Scotland.

Record Drugs Haul At Airport

16kgs of cocaine with an estimated street value of £800,000 has been seized at Edinburgh Airport by Lothian and Borders Police.

The amount recovered in yesterday afternoons seizure is thought to be a record for the Edinburgh area.

A Mexican couple, Erindidael Lechuga, 37 and Noe Muchado, 40 will appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today charged with being concerned in the supply of the class A drug. The record haul was recovered during a routine luggage search by HM Revenue & Customs.

The couple travelled from Mexico  on a connecting flight from Paris along with four children. The children are currently under the care of social services.

Bill Skelly, temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police has praised the work of the force along with HM Revenue & Customs  for preventing class A drugs entering Scotland. Mr Skelly said: “This is the largest recovery of cocaine the Force has made to date, and is an excellent example of partnership working between Lothian and Borders Police and HM Revenue & Customs.

“Safe-guarding communities against the scourge of drugs is a priority for Lothian and Borders Police, and our intelligence-led approach has resulted in a rise in the number of class-A seizures in recent years.”

Mr Skelly has also called on the public to be look out for any drug dealing activity going on in their local area:

“Rest assured that we will continue to build upon this success, and we would ask members of the public to play their part by providing us with information on any drug-dealing activity they suspect is taking place in local communities.”

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