PASSENGERS flying from Scotland could benefit from as many as 20 more flights to London each day with a brand new hub airport instead of a third runway being built at Heathrow, according to a new report.
A study by York Aviation and Oxford Economics concludes that a third runway at Heathrow would "do little to improve regional connectivity" and that a new four-runway hub on the Isle of Grain, is required.
The researchers estimate that additional connectivity brought about through the so-called "Boris island" option - favoured by the Mayor of London - would deliver economic benefit to Edinburgh of £451million in Gross Value Added (GVA), along with 2,590 new jobs by 2050.
Glasgow would gain around 2,620 new jobs and £358m in additional GVA.
The report states that without any new airport capacity in the south-east, Edinburgh would lose nine daily flights. If Heathrow added a third runway, Edinburgh would still lose four daily flights to London, however.
In contrast, creating a new hub would result in 20 more flights per day between Scotland and London than there would be under a third runway at Heathrow; Edinburgh Airport would have five more; Aberdeen two more, and; Glasgow three more, according to the report.
The report does not detail the potential benefits of expanding London Gatwick airport, the other alternative to a third runway at Heathrow
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "Air infrastructure solutions for South East England will be of little benefit to Scotland if we are not better connected to it."
The Mayor of London's chief advisor on aviation, Daniel Moylan, added: "The current expansion debate must not be allowed to become simply a matter of where to build a new strip of Tarmac in the south east.
"This is a decision that matters to the whole of the UK and it's ludicrous that Amsterdam Airport provides more than three times the number of UK regional connections than our so-called national airport. The report also nails the lie that a third runway would help the UK cities and regions that Heathrow has left behind."