Views Received from the Consultation Authorities
65. The SEA process has a number of distinct stages: Screening, Scoping, Environmental Assessment and the production of an Environmental Report and Post Adoption Statement. At each stage, there is a requirement to consult with the three Statutory Consultation Authorities. These are Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
66. The following paragraphs summarise their views on the SEA Screening and Scoping Report.
67. All three Statutory Consultation Authorities agreed that significant environmental effects were likely to arise as a result of the policy proposals, and supported the development of the assumptions, assessment questions and the three proposed reasonable alternatives to the policy. They also supported the proposal that all the SEA Topics  would be considered in the assessment process, the findings of the early assessment work and the proposed consultation period for the Environmental Report.
68. It was advised that caution would need to be exercised with regard climatic factors and the potential impact on this area, as aviation is separated into "domestic" ( i.e. within the UK) and "international" travel, both of which will be subject to the APD replacement tax. Additional sources of information relating to the proposed evidence base, or corrections of references used in the report, were also submitted.
69. The Consultation Authorities suggested that the potential implications of any modal transport shift, and effects arising from any significant shift in tourism patterns, would benefit from consideration in the assessment. The latter was viewed as relevant given the role airports play as a gateway for onward travel, generating consequential effects that may be realised far beyond these key transport hubs. Furthermore, it was noted that these effects could be either positive or negative in nature.
70. The relevance of information, such as on Scottish airports and businesses in the Scottish tourism and services sector, was questioned. The Consultation Authorities viewed these as economic assets rather than environmental receptors for inclusion in the assessment.
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