A third runway at Heathrow will improve regional connectivity for Scotland, the UK aviation minister has said.
Lord Ahmad said the move will enable the UK Government to protect essential routes and benefit nations around the country.
The Government has backed a third runway after rejecting proposals to increase expand an existing runway at Heathrow or build a second runway at Gatwick.
Dundee is one of the Scottish airports hoping to benefit from the decision.
The Scottish Government said the Heathrow expansion will create an estimated 16,000 new jobs in Scotland and reduce landing charges paid by airlines operating services from the London airport to Scotland.
The plan could also see Glasgow Prestwick Airport used as a logistics hub for the construction of the third runway.
Speaking at Glasgow Airport, Lord Ahmad said: “The issue of regional connectivity was an important factor in why we went for the new runway at Heathrow because there will be six new routes opening up, including one coming into Scotland.
“We can also put greater emphasis on protecting those essential routes which provide a great thread of economic activity and prosperity throughout the UK. So we believe it’s good for the UK, it’s good for London and the South East, but it’s also good for our nations across the UK as well.”
A public consultation will now be held on the impact of expansion at the west London hub before the final decision is put to MPs for a vote in the winter of 2017/18. A new runway could be operational by 2025.
Lord Ahmad said: “If you look at the current situation with Scottish airports in terms of their flights into Heathrow, today at Glasgow over 60 flights operate in a given week, if you look at Edinburgh over 100 flights.
“We believe not only should those routes be protected because they are good in terms of the local economy, in terms of business and leisure trips, but a lot of people travel down to London because of its international connectivity.
“That doesn’t preclude the fact that here in Scotland deals can be done with airlines, with airports to encourage greater connectivity directly.
“We believe that Heathrow is a crucial international hub but also a crucial domestic hub to improve regional connectivity for Scotland internationally as well.”
The Department for Transport has said the new runway will bring economic benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to £61 billion.
Amanda McMillan, chief executive of Glasgow Airport, welcomed the announcement of the third runway.
She said: “We’ve got a heavy demand for connectivity to Heathrow. The opportunity for Scotland is significant, to be able to increase the number of flights from Glasgow to Heathrow, and from Aberdeen to Heathrow, is something that we really welcome.
“So this is not only an important and significant step for the UK, but also for Scotland.”