Heathrow Airport celebrates Scotland

The McAdam Runway at Heathrow Airport
The McAdam Runway at Heathrow Airport
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Heathrow Airport is celebrating St Andrew’s Day by re-naming one of its runways after one of Scotland’s greatest pioneers - for one week.

The airport is launching a Made in Scotland Week in the run up to St Andrew’s Day.

As part of the celebration, one of Heathrow’s runways, which has seen approximately 770,0000 planes fly to Scotland carrying over 42m passengers, has been renamed the John McAdam Runway for the week in homage to the Scottish inventor of tarmac.

Airports owe a huge debt to Scottish pioneers, namely McAdam (the inventor of the road surfacing material known best known as Tarmac), Watson-Watt (developer of radar), Graham-Bell (telephone inventor) and Logie-Baird (creator of the television).

And Heathrow is taking the opportunity to thank them by symbolising items in Heathrow that are made in Scotland with a tartan tag.

Working with Glasgow born and based textile artist and designer Jilli Blackwood, a graduate of The Glasgow School of Art, who’s most famous for creating the outfits for the Scottish team at last summer’s Commonwealth Games, the airport now has its own unique purple-hued tartan which has been used to tag Scottish exports within the airport’s walls.

Emma Gilthorpe, strategy director at Heathrow, said: “Scotland has always played an important role in innovation and export and it’s fair to say that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the originality of some great Scots. From John Loudon McAdam, to Preston Watson and Alexander Graham Bell,

“Scotland is the birthplace of many revolutionary inventions and it’s these revolutionary inventions, which make Heathrow the UK’s Hub airport that it is today. From Tarmac to telephones, some could argue that, in some way, Heathrow was actually made in Scotland so we simply wanted to pay homage to the Scots by hosting a week-long celebration.”

Mike Cantley, chairman at Visit Scotland, said: “Home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years, Scotland’s creative and scientific minds continue to shape the modern world we live in today.

“It is wonderful that Heathrow Airport is honouring John McAdam in this unique way - naming a runway is a truly fitting tribute for the man who invented Tarmac. We are sure visitors to Heathrow will be delighted to revel in the airport’s Scottish takeover.”