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Ardvreck Castle PanoramaArdvreck Castle PanoramaArdvreck Castle reflected on a mirror like Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Northwest Scotland

{ Welcome to the blog - featuring my latest trips, personal projects and more. }

Prestwick Airport Revisited

June 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It has been a while since I last posted about the airport so thought I would update the blog with some new pics and news concerning the airport.

It has been a year and a half since the Scottish Government stepped in to buy the airport and still no sign of any increased activity in what is the prime driver for the economics of the airport that is passenger volumes, in fact these have dropped due to the only scheduled service operator, Ryanair, reducing the number of flights with now less than 1M passengers expected to use the airport for year 2015.

An all to regular scene at Prestwick Airport

There have been significant additions to the executive team at the airport and their primary focus must be on increasing passenger volumes, progress on this is not being reported due to the commercial sensitivity of the subject.

 

Expenditure from the government in the form of loans is currently at £9M with much of this being spent on repairs to the fabric of the facility which have been neglected during the previous years, estimates of total loan funding to the airport now stand at £39M nearly twice the original projectionto the year 2021/22, a small sum in comparison to the hundreds of millions being spent in the expansion of Edinburg and Glasgow airports.

 

Personally I like the old terminal and think it still looks good after being on the go for the past 50 years.

Still looks good after 50 years

One recent piece of good news was the announcement by Donald Trump that he plans to attract hundreds of executive jets to the airport bringing guests to visit his luxury hotel and golf complex at Turnberry, itself to be the recipient of more than £100M of investment by his organisation.

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Another widely criticised move by the airport in recent months was the termination of contracts of the private handling ( Fixed Based Operators ) companies on the airfield and for these activities to now be handled in-house by Prestwick Aviation Services, keeping alive the Matthew Hudson philosophy for the operation of the airport, the prophets of doom all said that these operators would draw business away to other airports but this does not appear to be the case judging by the amount of executive, fuel stopping and military aircraft transiting the airport.

Virgin Atlantic a regular visitor on training flights
Canadian Armed Forces another very regular vistor
 

 

Canadian F-18's route through Prestwick on their way home

KC-10 of the US Airforce, one of the largest military visitors making an evening fuel stop

Cessna Challenger 300 (LX-AVT), eight passengers in a luxury cabin arrive Prestwick

Cargo volumes at Prestwick have seen a 25% increase since the Government buy-out but the trend is for increased volumes of cargo to be carried in the holds of scheduled service flights which does not benefit Prestwick. What does is the infrastructure already in place for handling the largest cargo only aircraft and the resurgence of the economy and inevitable oil price rise leading to a revival in North Sea oil activity.

 

Cargolux Airlines operate a near daily freight only service.

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The Antonov AN-124 pictured above is the second largest freight carrying aircraft in service with a payload of 150 tonnes, a frequent Prestwick vistor for specialist freight operations.

 

Another update will follow in due course, please scroll down to enjoy a few more pictures of recent visitors at the airport

The Red Arrows on a fly-past before a recent overnight stop
The Red Arrows taxiing for departure to an air show from Prestwick.

An IL-76 Freighter of Volga Dnepr airlines on a recent visit

Cargolux B747 taxiing for take of at sunset.
Cargolux B747 arrival
Friendly RAF crew give a wave to the onlookers.
Virgin Atlantic " Dreamliner " on a training flight.

Royal Navy BAE Hawks during a recent Joint Warrior exercise.

Canadian F-18 Hornet departing for home after stopping off after NATO duties in Europe.

Could do with some other carriers tails showing at the airport at night !


Corsewall Lighthouse

November 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Corsewall LighthouseCorsewall LighthouseA Stevenson designed lighthouse on the Irish Sea coast of Dumfries and Galloway at Corsewall Point near Kirkcolm.

A Stevenson designed lighthouse on the Irish Sea coast of Dumfries and Galloway at Corsewall Point near Kirkcolm.


Trying some aviation photography

May 12, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Having worked in and around airports for many years and having always kept an interest in aviation I decided to spend some time at my local airport, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, attempting to master the art of aviation photography, I soon discovered that it was going to take a bit of practice as aircraft are pretty fast moving as they hit the tarmac !

LX-ECV Cargolux Airlines International Boeing 747-4HQF(ER)

There was no shortage of subject matter as airports are a hive of activity even when there are no aircraft taking off or landing, I found it interesting to watch the airport fire service catching up on some training excercises on a redundant  Boeing 747 parked on a remote apron.

Airport Fire Service

There was a good variety of aircraft to be seen during my visit, showing the many different users of the airport, this small jet being operated by a company which develops aerospace and avionics systems.

Dassault Falcon 20DC at Glasgow Prestwick

Also some interesting types of aircraft on display that day, this Russian built jet developed for short take offs and landings, using the thrust from the overwing engines to obtain additional lift.

CavokAir Antonov AN74

A few military visitors to the airfield that day, these highly engineered propellors belonging to the work-horse of many an air force, the Lockheed Martin C130 Hercules, some further experimentation required with shutter speed to capture the movement of the propellors

RCAF C130J Props

This was a much newer piece of military hardware that visited that day a Multi Role Tanker Transport Airbus A330 of the RAF, if you look towards the end of the wing you will see the pod that carries the equipment for inflight refuelling.

Voyager RAF Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport

The mainstay of the airport is shorthaul flights to many European sun spots, the passengers on board this would be hoping not to land on a wet runway when they reached their destination.

Ryanair 771 PIK -DUB 10-05-14

The last arrival during my short stay was yet another large jet, a Boeing 777 Freighter stopping off in-between Chicago and Paris which was turned around pretty quickly with modular containers of goodness knows what taken off and replaced in the voluminous deck of the aircraft.

F-GUOC-B777F Arrives at Prestwick from Chicago

All in all an enjoyable days photography with plenty of action to photograph, think I'll need a bit more practice at it so don't be surprised to see another post from the airport.

Please feel free to share or leave a comment and if you are interested in purchasing any of these as prints let me know via the contact form and I'll make them available on the website.


Prestwick Airport Turns Green

April 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Took a trip to my local airport last month as they had arranged to bathe the terminal building in green light, joining a long list of landmarks that have done this in honour of St. Patrick's Day. I shared this image with Prestwick Airport on their facebook page and they contacted me asking if they could have the image to pass on to Tourism Ireland to be used in forthcoming publicity material.

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