The capital airports of Scotland and China have agreed to collaborate to develop a shared understanding of markets and shared operational and commercial opportunities.
Looking at areas where information and skills can be exchanged to achieve best practice, the airports have created a framework that allows close collaboration and cross-fertilisation of ideas and experience.
The partnership has its roots in a visit by Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar to the Beijing Global Friend Airports CEO Forum last year as a guest of Beijing Airport.
The BCIA team, led by President and CEO ZhiLiang Han, has come to Edinburgh to sign the Memorandum of Understanding and learn more about Scotland’s capital.
Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar said: “We are honoured to welcome colleagues from BCIA to sign this partnership agreement. I believe that the shared understanding that it will create will allow us to be more competitive in the Chinese market and brings the prospect of a direct air link between Scotland and China ever closer. The Belt and Road initiative of China is clear and ambitious. Well, we’re at the end of that road and want to understand how we can make sure we can play a part.
“BCIA is massive organisation, processing 94.39 million passengers a year. We can learn lots from them. Our performance in Edinburgh has made airports across the world sit up and take note and I‘m sure that there are areas in which we can offer ideas to Beijing.
“This is an exciting new chapter for our airport and the whole team is looking forward to working together and forging a strong bond.”
City of Edinburgh Council Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “This visit will further strengthen the already close relationship Edinburgh enjoys with China. Our investment team already has a strong presence through various channels promoting Edinburgh as a quality location for investment throughout China and our many other links include the two pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang being gifted to Edinburgh by the Chinese Government to horticultural connections dating back over 100 years.
“A strong partnership is also now in place incorporating our work in life sciences through the Memorandum of Understanding signed recently between the University of Edinburgh and the Shenzhen Peoples’ hospital and partner Hua-Xia Healthcare on diabetes. And we even have our own Chinese New Year celebrations here in the city, marked this year by a special concert in the Usher Hall.”