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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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