Sir, – It is obvious that Dundee needs a better airport if it wants to attract more visitors, especially once the V&A is open.
Even with an extended runway, Riverside will never be a great place for an airport.
Surely it is much more sensible to make use of a ready-made, under-used asset at Leuchars which can cope with any size of aircraft and already has excellent rail links to Dundee and Edinburgh.
By utilising this properly, it could reduce the need for further development at Edinburgh. Trains take 45 minutes from Leuchars to the centre of Edinburgh but the tram is about as long from Edinburgh airport.
Developing the airport there would help Leuchars, Dundee, St Andrews, the rest of Fife and Angus and could save money at Edinburgh and could be developed with a simple agreement from the military.
Reason to extend airport
Sir, – I write with reference to your reporter Mark Mackay’s article on FlyBe’s Dundee to Amsterdam service on September 28.
On a recent FlyBe return flight to Dundee, we experienced a very heavy thump-down during landing.
The approach, through extremely dense cloud cover down to some 15 metres from ground level, must have made matters difficult for the crew.
Before leaving the aircraft I mentioned the somewhat hairy landing to a crew member who, after a moment’s hesitation, replied that he felt the runway to be a bit on the short side for a firm touch-down during adverse weather conditions.
Surely a sound reason to have the runway extended.
22 Fothringham Drive,
Time to back fracking
Sir, – On driving over the Tay Road Bridge into Dundee the other day, I was struck by the presence of three jack-up rigs parked in the river.
At more than a billion US dollars each, these are very expensive items to be lying idle
A friend in the north-east tells me that there are 17 rigs at Invergordon and many idle oil-support vessels anchored off Aberdeen to save harbour fees.
All of this emphasises the dire state of our oil industry.
Against this background I was dismayed by the Scottish Government’s snubbing of the arrival of the first shipload of US shale gas at Grangemouth.
Ten of thousands of jobs have been lost in the oil industry.
Government revenue from oil has shrunk by around 95% over the last couple of years.
We are reduced to importing fracked shale gas from the US with the inevitable adverse effect on our balance of trade.
And yet we have been fracking for oil in the North Sea for decades, and as a result have in Scotland the skills to frack for gas onshore.
Hydrocarbons are utterly essential to our economy: to generate electricity, power our vehicles and to produce the ubiquitous plastics we depend on.
It is time the Scottish Government wised up to this fact and approved onshore fracking for shale gas.
6 Inveralmond Grove,
SNP risking Scots economy
Sir, – The SNP used to stand for progress, or so they said. As a ship with the words “shale gas for progress” unloads vital feedstock for Scotland’s petrochemical industry, we clearly see this has been transcended in the naked pursuit of independence “come hell or high water” as one 80-year-old blurted out on a radio phone-in last week.
The SNP announced its fracking moratorium on January 28 2016, the same day as Nicola Sturgeon discussed the opportunity with Ineos.
It is widely known in onshore exploration circles that the SNP is in favour of fracking.
What sickens me is the timidity, hypocrisy and incompetence which kicks this can along a road.
It got them through the Westminster and Holyrood elections and may be enough to see them past the council elections.
But it will come to a humiliating and economically suicidal dead end when England goes ahead with fracking and we Scots are shot in the foot by our own government.
1 Willow Row,
Hypocrisy of anti-frackers
Sir, – The debate on fracking goes on and there are even strident calls for the Scottish Government to withdraw support for the shipping of shale gas from America.
These anti-frackers, if they are so against fossil fuels, should shut off their electricity one day in every five days.
Well Scotland has to regularly import “tainted” electricity from England produced from coal, gas, nuclear and diesel.
To show commitment they could also refuse to buy or use all plastic products since shale gas is a main component in their manufacture.
If hospitals have to use back-up diesel generators if the wind does not blow, will they refuse medical treatment?
Mexico is to open its huge shale fields to US drillers early next year so perhaps the anti- frackers can leave Ineos Grangemouth alone and set off for Mexico.
138 Springfield Road,
Real priorities being missed
Sir, – By importing ethane shale gas from the US, Ineos at Grangemouth is doing more to protect jobs in the oil industry than a Scottish Government more concerned with social trivia such as the named person scheme.
But perhaps this direct action – necessary because of refusal to allow fracking here – is to become merely another of those passing fads as Scotland’s £15 billion annual deficit was so memorably dismissed.
SNP now part of establishment
Sir, – While questioning the SNP’s role in Brexit, Theresa May identified the SNP as very much part of the political establishment.
Nicola Sturgeon likes to claim the SNP does things differently, they’re not part of the political elite. Crucially she claims they are different from the Westminster parties.
But the SNP has been in power for 10 years. Their feet are under the table.
And they continue to abuse their position at the heart of the Scottish political establishment by pursuing their UK break-up obsession, in direct contravention of our democratically expressed wishes.
And what about the latest disclosures of SNP MPs’ expenses claims?
Mhairi Black, for example, has spent £13,500 on 39 business class flights to London yet replies to only 27% of her constituents’ emails.
4 Royal Circus,