Airport boss Gordon Dewar says rapid testing ‘makes absolute sense’

Edinburgh airport is to trial pre-departure rapid Covid-19 testing.

The rapid tests only require a saliva sample, meaning no nasal swab and a more positive testing experience.

The trial will be open to staff and campus volunteers due to low passenger numbers and will demonstrate how testing can be scaled at airports, potentially adding to the testing capability already in place at Edinburgh Airport.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We know testing will be part of our travelling future, so it makes absolute sense that we look at how that is possible in an airport environment as we prepare for aviation’s recovery.

“Although there is a lack of detail on when that recovery might be able to take place, we are going to do all we can as an airport to make sure we put processes in place so we are in the strongest position possible when conditions allow.

“This trial with PocDoc and BioSure will provide some insight into rapid, efficient and affordable testing and we will study the findings before deciding our next steps.”

Founder and chief executive of PocDoc Steve Roest said: “Covid-19 has seen the travel industry brought to its knees, but we believe 2021 will see a much happier year for the sector.

“Everyone is aware of the extent of the testing problem and we believe we have found a solution.

“The very quick, reliable, cost effective and safe service will help unlock travel and provide a massive boost to consumers and travel operators alike.

In February it emerged that passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport last year dropped to their lowest level since 1995, according to new figures.

In 2019 a record 15 million people used the airport but that dropped to just under 3.5million last year.

The majority of those travelled before the pandemic hit in March.

At the time Mr Dewar said the fall in passenger numbers due to Covid-19 was “worrying” and warned there was “no clear path to recovery”.

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