SCOTLAND’s two biggest airports have recorded their busiest year, with the latest passenger figures showing that more than 13 million travellers passed through Edinburgh Airport in 2017, while around 9.9 million passengers used Glasgow.

Aberdeen Airport saw its eighth consecutive month of growth, recording 3.1 million passengers.

Figures released yesterday showed 13,432,485 people used Scotland’s busiest airport last year with international passengers credited with driving growth. It was helped by a record December which saw 925,017 passengers use the terminal.

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Edinburgh Airport – to welcome more than 13 million passengers is a real triumph and one that we are delighted by.

“That success is of course down to the vast choice of destinations we offer, our partner airlines and businesses, but it’s also down to the dedicated and expert staff who work across our campus to ensure the airport operates smoothly and successfully.

“We know we play a crucial role in the economy and we want to use Edinburgh and Scotland’s global appeal and standing to bring further benefits – but that sense of adventure that an airport offers is also important to us.”

Glasgow Airport reported 9,902,239 passengers from January to December, with 618,131 passing through the hub last month, marginally down on the same month in 2016 because of adverse weather.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said 2017 was a fantastic year for the airport: “To carry more than 9.9 million passengers is a huge achievement and testament to the hard work put in by more than 5000 people across the airport.

“It was also particularly pleasing that we were able to considerably increase our connectivity, particularly across Europe, by securing more than 30 routes and services during the year.

“Over the last 12 months we also made considerable improvements to the airport by investing more than £25 million on a number of successful projects including the resurfacing of the runway, increasing aircraft stand capacity and the opening of our new consolidated car rental centre.

“While Glasgow Airport enters 2018 in a position of strength, the wider aviation industry faces a number of challenges in the year ahead.

“These challenges will be particularly heightened by the Brexit situation, so it’s important we have clarity as early as possible on how the UK’s future relationship with the European Union will work.”

Aberdeen Airport recorded 3,135,325 passengers in 2017, up 1.8 per cent on the previous year and more than 238,000 passengers used it in December, a 3.5 per cent increase.

Domestic and international traffic was up 4.6 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively because of strong demand for winter sun destinations, but helicopter traffic was down 11.6 per cent on December 2016.

Carol Benzie, its managing director, said: “Domestic fixed-wing traffic has driven much of the total passenger increases which has, in part, been due to chartered services being used by offshore workers to reach destinations such as Sumburgh and Wick, to then connect offshore via helicopter.

“This has, as a result, contributed to the decrease in helicopter passengers travelling directly from Aberdeen.”