Glasgow Airport is half owned in a tax haven.

The hub - once owned by the city council and then UK government - was sold up two years ago.

Now the Evening Times can reveal that a 50 per cent of the firm that bought the business is registered in the offshore jurisdiction of Jersey.

The airport’s owners insist this company, which also owns half of Aberdeen Airport, is registered for UK tax.

But there remains huge controversy over the owning of British or Scottish businesses through holding firms in secretive tax havens.

The Evening Times can also reveal that Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow’s main rival, is wholly owned in another offshore haven, the Cayman Islands.

Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports, all of which used to be part of the privatised and then broken-up British Airports Authority or BAA, argue that it is “not uncommon” for infrastructure assets to be owned through so-called fiscal paradises like Jersey or the Caymans.

However, former Prime Minister David Cameron has previously urged more openness in both the Cayman Islands and Jersey as he came under pressure from EU and G8 partners to close loopholes in territories linked to Britain.

MSP Andy Wightman, who represents Lothians for the Scottish Greens, raised concerns over what he saw as the opaque ownership of Edinburgh Airport.

He said: “Since privatisation in the 1980s and the break-up of British Airports Authority, Edinburgh Airport is now controlled by entities in secrecy jurisdictions from Grand Cayman to Delaware.

“As a strategic part of Scotland’s transport infrastructure, it is in the public interest that its corporate structure, ownership and accounting is fully transparent.

“Unless this is achieved, it is impossible to be sure in whose interests decisions about the future of the airport are being taken.”

Glasgow is owned by a firm called AGS Airports, headed up by Amanda McMillan. This is a joint venture of a Spanish infrastructure firm called Ferrovial and American partner Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) of New York. MIRA controls its half of the business through a firm called called AGS Ventures Airports Limited, registered in the tax haven of of St Helier, Jersey.

A spokesman for MIRA said: “AGS Ventures Limited, while Jersey-registered, is a UK tax resident company, is subject to corporation tax in the UK as is any other tax resident company. The operating companies within AGS Airports also pay corporation tax in the UK.”

Edinburgh Airport is largely formally owned by a company called Green Topco in Grand Cayman. This is thought to be largely a vehicle for Global Infrastructure Partners or GIP, a private equity firm based in New York and Stamford, Connecticut.

However, GIP’s own website clarifies that its corporate entity is Global Infrastructure Management, LLC, based in Delaware, an American state routinely described as tax haven, including by the New York Times.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive and a shareholder in one of the holding companies owning the facility, insisted the business was managed in Scotland and stressed that it paid £22.7m in various taxes since 2012.

He added: “It is not uncommon for infrastructure assets, wherever they exist in the world, to be owned in a structure similar to ours. Since 2012, Edinburgh Airport has paid £55m of tax, with £22.7m of corporation, employment, sales and property related taxes in 2015.”