In 2012 the owner of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, decided to sell and it remained unsold until earlier this month when the Scottish Government entered into negotiations to buy the facility taking it back into public ownership.
Many people in Scotland, particularly those resident in Ayrshire and in south west of Scotland hope that this will finally assure the future of this airport which even although not currently financially profitable remains a great asset for Scotland and the Scottish economy.
We hope with this change in ownership will take the opportunity to re-brand it Robert Burns International. There are several reasons that this change would of advantage.
- Prestwick Airport lies in the county of Ayrshire, in Burns Country, where the World famous poet Robert Burns was born, whose birthday is celebrated by Scots around the world in January of each year. Renaming it Robert Burns International would tap into this fame and place the airport much more on the map, particularly with its prospective North American customers.
- Liverpool Airport in the north west of England rebranded itself as John Lennon Airport and has since gone from strength to strength.
- Many people have over time objected to its most recent rebranding i.e. Glasgow Prestwick Airport – Pure Dead Brilliant as this most certainly does not capitalize on its major assets, and nor does it portray Scotland in good light.
Notable facts about Prestick Airport
- The airport is famous as being the only place in the UK where Elvis Presley set foot. This occurred in 1960 when a plane carrying him stopped off to refuel on its way home on route from West Germany.
- In physical terms it is Scotland’s largest airport whilst lagging behind in terms of passenger numbers behind Edinburgh International, Glasgow International, and Aberdeen Airport.
- Glasgow Prestwick Airport's income is markedly different from most airports, which rely to a large extent on revenue from scheduled passenger services. Most of revenue comes from freight aircraft activity.
- Glasgow Prestwick serves as a test airport for most new
planes with the Boeing Dreamliner recently being tested there.
- 1. Prestwick Airport has a much lower incidence of fog than any other airport in the UK due to its geographical location. For this reason it is often used as a diversionary airport when weather conditions close aviation hubs elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
A Brief History of Prestwick Airport
The airport at Prestwick started life in 1934 as a training airfield with limited passenger being added 4 years later. After the onset of the Second World War the airport developed rapidly to cater for the large volume of US airfreight traffic.
In 1964 the current terminal building was erected, this being opened by the Queen Mother in a special ceremony.
In 1991 after the privatisation of the British Airports Authority by the UK Government, BAA decided to sell the airport and concentrate all transatlantic traffic to Glasgow Abbotsinch which is much closer to the central belt. After this passenger numbers fell sharply.
Under the new ownership of Canadian entrepreneur Matthew Hudson in 1992 Prestwick became the first airport in Scotland to have its own railway station, an advantage it still has, and became the hub for many budget airlines including Ryanair. Passenger travel peaked in 2007 with the success of the policy.
In 1998 it was sold to the Stagecoach Group who then sold it on to its current owners Infratil in 2001.