Thick black smoke blankets Glasgow after huge fire erupts near city’s airport

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of an open fire in Greenock Road, Paisley, at 8.13pm on Saturday. The blaze was just over a mile away from Glasgow Airport.

Witnesses on social media reported a huge blaze to the west of Glasgow.

Twitter user @czefski tweeted: “Big fire to the west of Glasgow.”

Fellow Twitter user @liberallyapply said the fire was “belching out black smoke into the sky at quite a rate”.

To which @rainarmstrong replied: “It looked quite wild from the motorway.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the smoke was caused by a pile of tyres which had caught fire.

A spokeswoman said: “One appliance attended with four crew members. The fire was out by 9.08pm. 

“There were no injuries.”

The blaze does not appear to have affected operations at the nearby travel hub, according to Glasgow Airport’s live flights dashboard.

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Meanwhile, this week saw Edinburgh Airport bosses say it is coping with a surge in passengers as April marked the terminal’s busiest period since before the Covid pandemic.

About one million people travelled through the capital’s airport last month as people made the most of eased coronavirus restrictions to take their first trips since early 2020.

The hub had previously warned about the potential for queues as a surge in demand and difficulty finding staff combined, but it said 97.1 percent of passengers passed through security within 15 minutes.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of the airport, said it was “brilliant to welcome passengers back” and to see “so many happy faces” as people set off to reunite with family and friends.

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He said: “It was, of course, a challenging few weeks and we are quite happy with the way the airport operation performed as it saw its busiest period in almost three years.”

“As ever, there are lessons we can learn and improvements we can make as we head into the even busier summer season.”

The rise in passengers marked a significant improvement for the aviation sector which saw numbers plummet from more than a million to just thousands.

A total of 1,258,354 passengers went through Edinburgh Airport in April, 2019, but a year later the number had dropped to just 5,445.

The news comes as Heathrow Airport increased its 2022 passenger number forecast from 45.5 million to nearly 53 million.

This 16 percent rise follows a “strong” April, with 5.1 million people using the west London hub.

Heathrow said outbound leisure travellers and people cashing in airline vouchers obtained for trips cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic are driving the recovery in demand, which it expects to last throughout the summer.

The forecast means Heathrow expects passenger numbers to reach 65 percent of pre-pandemic levels this year.

Heathrow maintained that it is a “realistic assessment”.

Heathrow expects to remain loss-making through the year and does not forecast paying dividends to shareholders in 2022.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We all want to see travel get back to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible, and, while I am encouraged by the rise in passenger numbers, we also have to be realistic.

“There are significant challenges ahead. The regulator can either plan for them with a robust and adaptable regulatory settlement that delivers for passengers and withstands any shocks, or they can prioritise airline profits by cutting back on passenger service, leaving the industry to scramble when things go wrong in future.”