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Glasgow Airport removed from SNP's development list

GLASGOW Airport has been dropped from the list of government projects prioritised for development, sparking fears it faces being denied funding for future transport plans.

The move has embroiled the Scottish Government in another row over the airport, with the leader of one council branding the decision to drop it as "secretive" and calling on ministers to reverse the move.

Industry sources said there was a clear case for improving links to and from the airport, which saw its proposed rail link axed four years ago, with tourism and the buoyant conference sector dependent on them.

Owner BAA is expected to call for the reintroduction of improved links to the National Planning Framework as part of the consultation with key stakeholders.

The Scottish Government said Glasgow Airport was not part of the framework as another study involving Transport Scotland, several councils and BAA was underway.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan has written to Derek Mackay, local government and planning minister, ahead of the issue being debated at the Scottish Parliament today, calling on the Government to "account for and then reverse" its decision to remove the improvement of links to Glasgow Airport.

He said he feared that removing a commitment to enhanced transport links would give the Government a justification for refusing to fund Glasgow Airport projects in the future.

Since 2004, several versions of the National Planning Framework have highlighted Glasgow Airport as a national priority.

But although drafts of 2014's plans also included the airport, it has been deleted.

A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said: "We would never publicly comment until we have made formal representations."

A Government spokeswoman rejected claims of secrecy, and said: "Transport Scotland's work is ongoing but not part of the National Planning Framework. We cannot pre-judge what is going to be in that report."

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Local government

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