With the Scottish Government’s announcement last week of a new advisory council to help develop a 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation perhaps the hard work of rebuilding the government’s fractured relationship with business has now begun.

There are some welcome names in the list of 17 including Mark Logan, formerly chief operating officer of Skyscanner and Dame Sharon White, who chairs the John Lewis Partnership.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes aims to use the council to “help transform our economy and help us reach net zero”. No transformation can succeed without whole-hearted business support.

One wonders what that means for aviation, amongst those sectors most damaged by Covid-19 restrictions, and for our airports which have currently become sad shadows of their former selves.

On Monday the leaders of several airports and airlines asked the Scottish Government to match the UK Government’s decision to allow quarantine-free travel from amber list countries for those that have had both doses of vaccine.  The positive response in the First Minister’s announcement yesterday is a first step in repairing the relationship with the aviation industry which has lately been much less than warm.

Most of us have not set foot in an airport since March last year. If you plan to do so soon, do not expect to find it in the same condition as when you last used it. In a recent Westminster debate on the condition of our regional airports, the statistics quoted for Glasgow Airport could hardly be gloomier. Gavin Newlands, the SNP MP whose constituency contains the airport, gave the stark summary that Glasgow has lost 100 per cent of its long-haul routes, 70% of its international flights and half of its domestic flights – wiping out progress made since 1970. More than 2,000 jobs have been lost. These figures are frankly astonishing.

He added: “Regional airports … drive the regional economies they serve. It is not just about going on holiday. Commerce follows connectivity, and without a meaningful direct route network, Scotland’s place on the world’s stage is at risk, thereby affecting our ability to export and attract foreign direct investments – something we have been incredibly successful at for a number of years”.

It’s a view I know is endorsed by the financial services industry in Glasgow where air connectivity has been an important factor in securing jobs growth, often from US companies, in the IFSD.

Mr Newlands pushed for the UK Government to publish its long-delayed regional connectivity review, and he is correct. Never has the regional airport network been more challenged.

But it would also be helpful if the Scottish Government made its own intentions clear, for there is some doubt in the industry about the government’s views on the importance of aviation’s recovery.

The SNP manifesto stated that an SNP government would support exports and to do that it would “assess options for direct links to international markets from Scotland’s ports and airports” to reduce dependency on airports in the south-east of England. There is also a commitment to rebuild tourism.

But the Scottish Government has said that aviation recovery must be more sustainable and there are suspicions it doubts the commitment of the industry to reduce its emissions. That aviation is prepared to respond is exemplified by Loganair’s recent announcement of a £1 carbon offset charge on every ticket and plans to be carbon-neutral by 2040 as part of its Green Skies programme.

There has never been a Scottish aviation strategy bringing government and industry together to set out joint aspirations for the future. Perhaps the new advisory council could make that one of its early recommendations.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce