THE central importance of Glasgow Airport to the city, surrounding area and country as a whole is made clear today in a report that highlights how 2,658 metres of runway lift the economy and sustain thousands of jobs. Air transport consultants York Aviation reveal that, last year, 9.7 million travellers passed through the airport, creating a £1.44 billion financial boost nationally and supporting 30,000 people in work. And there is more to come. If the planned rate of growth continues, then by 2040 the airport would be dealing with 17 million passengers, generating £2.54bn for the economy and supporting more than 43,000 jobs.

That is an extraordinarily encouraging prospect, and it has not come about by accident. More than £130m of a capital was invested in the airport between 2011and 2018, putting the “go” into Glasgow and helping to attract the world’s largest commercial aircraft, Emirates’ A380 serving Dubai.

The airport has a vital role to play in the city’s economic plans, which include attracting a million more tourists each year, but also more directly in the business life of the country. In 2017, it handled £3.5bn worth of exports and imports: when Glasgow Airport does well, Scotland benefits.

In the modern world, connectivity is massively important, allowing – as the report points out – trade, investment, people and knowledge to flow. None of this happens without effort and planning. In a competitive market, the airport cannot stand still. It has to keep developing.

In this regard, just as the airport helps the country, the country has to help the airport, which would certainly involve ending the ongoing travails over a rail link, which really is a must for an airport of this size – and growing.

In these straitened times, it is heartening to hear of economic good news, of jobs created, countries connected and visitors brought to our country. Glasgow Airport is, as they say, going places: onwards and upwards.