Plan to save Glasgow Prestwick Airport revealed

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THE DOCUMENT setting out a long-term strategic vision to save Glasgow Prestwick Airport has been published today and the airport’s chief executive’s vision includes space travel.

 

The report outlines plans to up passenger numbers, increase freight and space-related flight testing.

 

The airport was taken into public ownership last year and was shortlisted in June as one of eight possible locations in the UK to become the UK’s first spaceport.

 

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If the Prestwick was awarded the spaceport work it would provide launchpads for commercial spaceflight, satellite bases and scientific research from 2018.

 

No date has been set yet for the announcment on which airport will land the spaceport work.

 

The 53-page document is based upon the reports and recommendations of the Senior Advisor appointed by TS Prestwick Holdco Ltd to review the business of Glasgow Prestwick Airport and its operational structure.

 

The wide-ranging paper covers areas such as key strengths and opportunities; broadening the revenue base; and capital and development expenditure plans.

 

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Glasgow Prestwick Chief Executive Iain Cochrane said: “Our long-term vision for Glasgow Prestwick, which is shared by the Scottish Government, is of a high-quality, exceptional value and vibrant aviation, aerospace and visitor hub.

 

“We aim to ensure that it becomes the busy and prosperous strategic anchor for economic growth and delivery in Ayrshire and Scotland that we strongly believe it can be.

 

“Everyone acknowledges there is no quick fix solution for Glasgow Prestwick but we firmly believe that the airport has a bright future.

 

“Building sustainable passenger growth is important and in common with other Scottish airports we will continue to call for the removal of Air Passenger Duty.

 

“We will also pursue other commercial opportunities across our diverse revenue streams such as freight, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and property.

 

“In particular we believe freight presents a number of excellent opportunities. We have the longest commercial runway in Scotland which can handle the world’s largest freighters such as 747s and Antonovs.

 

“Encouragingly, tonnage here is up 38% this year over last and we are now focused on further development opportunities.”

 

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He added that the hi-tech Spaceport project presented Prestwick with another significant opportunity.

 

“We are currently under consideration to become Britain’s first Spaceport.

 

“We satisfy – and in some cases exceed – all the essential criteria such as infrastructure, weather and airspace, and securing Spaceport status would be the catalyst for transformational change at the airport – from boosting revenue from space-related flight testing, establishing an attractive modernised hi-tech image and bringing in visitors and tourists.

 

“It will also bring significant economic benefits to both Ayrshire and Scotland. Our team is therefore firmly focused on winning the bid.”

 

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon commented: “We want Glasgow Prestwick Airport to become the successful and vibrant airport we know it can be and the publication of this Strategic Vision document is the next stage in that journey.

 

“Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a public corporation operating on a commercial basis and at arm’s length from the Scottish Government.

 

 

“The management team has built on the work of the Senior Advisor and this document outlines their investment and business development plans, as well as the operating structure that is being put in place to take the airport forward.

 

“We have been clear from the start of this process that there is no quick fix for the airport but there are opportunities to improve in all areas of the business, from increasing passenger and freight traffic to putting forward a bid for the UK Spaceport programme.

 

“We are confident there is a place for Glasgow Prestwick Airport in the evolving Scottish aviation market and look forward to seeing it grow and develop in the future.”

 

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon commented: “We want Glasgow Prestwick Airport to become the successful and vibrant airport we know it can be and the publication of this Strategic Vision document is the next stage in that journey.

 

“Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a public corporation operating on a commercial basis and at arm’s length from the Scottish Government.

 

“The management team has built on the work of the Senior Advisor and this document outlines their investment and business development plans, as well as the operating structure that is being put in place to take the airport forward.

 

“We have been clear from the start of this process that there is no quick fix for the airport but there are opportunities to improve in all areas of the business, from increasing passenger and freight traffic to putting forward a bid for the UK Spaceport programme.

 

“We are confident there is a place for Glasgow Prestwick Airport in the evolving Scottish aviation market and look forward to seeing it grow and develop in the future.”

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