Glasgow airport is to impose a £2 fee on drivers for dropping off passengers.

The charge will apply for stays of up to 10 minutes and follows the introduction of a pick-up fee in 2010.

The new charge is being introduced as the airport creates a dedicated pick-up and drop-off area.

The zone is part of a wider scheme of works aimed at reducing congestion and improving traffic flows.

The airport will continue to offer a free pick-up and drop-off area for 30 minutes at its long stay car park, which is a five minute shuttle bus ride from the main terminal building.

The upgrade of its wider road network will also involve reversing the traffic flow on St Andrew’s Drive where the Holiday Inn Express is located. This will come into effect in March.

Airport managing director, Amanda McMillan, said the overall investment represented one of the most significant upgrades to the road network in more than ten years.

“In addition to addressing the very real issue of congestion, it will allow us to accommodate the marked increase in vehicles now using our road system and deal with recent and expected growth,” she said.

“It has been apparent for some time that our current drop-off area, which suffers from severe congestion on a daily basis, is simply no longer fit for purpose.

“It was implemented at a time when we were carrying 6.5 million passengers, however, we have since enjoyed sustained growth and are now fast approaching the 10 million mark.

“It is also the case that people travelling to and from the airport are wholly dependent on road access and the current arrangements are unable to cope with such a large volume of traffic. It is important, therefore, that we have a safe and efficient system in place.

“I appreciate that not everyone will be supportive of the new charging structure, however, we will always continue to provide a free option.

“We have resisted introducing a drop-off charge despite most airports of our size having similar arrangements in place for many years, however, having exhausted all possible alternatives we have now reached a point whereby a chargeable facility is the only way to address congestion, discourage non-airport traffic and encourage best use of our road network.”

A £4 million new consolidated car rental centre is also being created to house Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise and Dollar/Thrifty next to Terminal Two from February 13.