Prestwick Airport

Some general information about Prestwick Airport

Prestwick Airport losing still more money – Scottish Government may have to “lend” up to £25 million by end of 2016

Losses made by Prestwick airport have increased over the past year, since it was bought by the Scottish government for £1 in November 2013. The airport made a loss of £4.1 million in 2014/15 which was larger than the loss of £3.9 million the previous year. They said it was “another challenging year” but said there were “promising signs in a number of areas” including freight business and military activity. However, the loss of some Ryanair flights (to Glasgow Airport from October 2014) could be “more severely felt” in the current financial year. Pre-tax losses for 2014/15 stood at £8.9 million – almost double the £4.6m loss before tax the previous year. The airport’s loan from the Scottish government has also increased, rising from £4.5 million at the end of March 2014 to £10.8m at the end of March this year. That could increase further, with ministers having budgeted for a total of up to £25 million of loan cash for the airport by the end of 2015/16. (Presumably with little prospect of the taxpayer getting much of that back). The government hopes to return Prestwick to a profit before selling it back to the private sector, ministers have warned that could take time. By buying the airport, some 3,200 jobs were safeguarded. The number of passengers using Prestwick was 1,660,811 in 2010; 1,295,676 in 2011; 1,067,243 in 2012; and 1,145,561 in 2013 and 912,400 in 2014.

Click here to view full story…

Prestwick Airport to be sold to Scottish Government for £1 – and other failing regional airports look to business parks and housing


Infratil, which currently owns Prestwick Airport, has said the airport is expected to be sold to the Scottish Government for £1.  The sale is due to be completed by Wednesday, 20 November. Infratil said the airport’s value had been “fully impaired” – effectively written off – after Prestwick and sister airport Manston in Kent were collectively valued at £11 million in March.  Infratil bought Prestwick from Stagecoach in 2001 for £33m.  Manston is being sold to Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag for an expected £400,000. Scottish Ministers are taking over Prestwick airport, which is losing £7m a year, to avert its closure and safeguard 1,400 jobs, including 300 at the airport. Infratil described its investment in the airports to have been “unsuccessful for Infratil” and that while such regional airports looked like a good investment 5 years ago, they now are not as  they are reliant on “robust air traffic growth driving demand.” Other failing airports are looking to  create business parks on their land, and housing – to try and make money out of them.                        

Glasgow Prestwick Airport may be given to the Scottish Government for nothing

October 11, 2013       The owners of Glasgow Prestwick, New Zealand company Infratil, have suggested they may give away the airport for nothing. The Scottish government has announced it is negotiating to buy the unprofitable airport, and hopes to conclude detailed negotiations with the company by 20 November. Scottish government said it was the “only realistic alternative to closure”. In a statement on its website, the company said it did not expect any transaction “to give rise to material proceeds”. Prestwick was put up for sale last March after heavy annual losses. Several investors expressed interest but no offers were made. Infratil has also been trying to sell its other unprofitable UK airport, Manston. In May 2013, Infratil announced that it had written down the value of both airports to £11m. Infratil has agreed to ensure the airport is kept fully open and operational during the negotiation process. In 2012 Prestwick had around 1 million passengers, compared to 2.4 million at its peak in 2005.      Click here to view full story…



Confirmed: Manston Airport up for sale, as Infratil also sheds Prestwick

March 8, 2012     Manston Airport has been put up for sale by its New Zealand based owners, Infratil.  At Infratil’s Investor Day it announced that it intends to sell its two UK airports Manston and Prestwick because of a refocusing of its investment profile.  Infratil will prioritise its other business interests – which include electricity generation and retailing and natural gas as well as transport provision in New Zealand. Click here to view full story…


Master Plan for Prestwick airport  (Consultation Oct 2008     Draft Master Plan    (94 pages)  Key points of Master Plan are:The draft Master Plan predicts that Glasgow Prestwick will more than double its
passenger throughput in the next decade, handling 5.7 million passengers in 2018
and approximately 12 million in 2033.   Growth predictions are based on the greater of 3 possible growth scenarios and it assumes that a number of business opportunities come to fruition, as well as new developments in the domestic, European and long haul markets.

The draft Master Plan also predicts that freight volume will grow at an average
of 4% per year over the same period. Under this scenario the airport will handle
approximately 50,000 tonnes of freight in 2018 and 100,000 tonnes in 2033.”While it is certain there will be a need to upgrade the existing apron and taxiway
facilities as the number of aircraft movements increases, the current runway infrastructure
will be sufficient to handle the growth referred to in the draft Master Plan.”
Airport press release on consultation
The airport website states:

Glasgow Prestwick Airport has published details of its development plans for the next 25 years. The draft Master Plan describes how Glasgow Prestwick Airport will deliver its long-term role, set by the Government in the 2003 Aviation White Paper and subsequent updates. The public consultation period has now ended and we are currently considering the feedback we have received


Airport address:   (the airport is 46 km (29 miles) from the city of Glasgow)

Glasgow Prestwick  Airport, Aviation House, Prestwick KA9 2PL    Tel:   0871 223 0700
Multimap slowing location:       Map
Airport website:  
Airport owner:   The airport is privately owned by Infratil, a New Zealand investment company which also owns Wellington International Airport and Kent International (= Manston) Airport

Prestwick Airport. Flights and CO2 emissions.

Analysis of flights, routes, and top 10 destinations from Prestwick Airport in 2011. Also carbon emissions.
And passenger growth and numbers over the past 15 years.


CAA airport statistics       CAA statistics  

Terminal Passengers

Number of passengers (thousands)
CAA – Terminal Passengers 1998 – 2008

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012

2013    1,144,568  (up + 7.3% on 2012)
2012     1,066,917  (down – 17.6% on 2011)
2011    1,295,512  (down – 22%  on 2010)
2010    1,660,000  (down – 9% on 2009)  link to 2010 data
2009   1,817,274  (down – 27.4% compared to 2008)
2008    2,414  (thousand)
2007    2,421
2006    2,395
2005    2,405
2000       905
1997       567

Air Transport Movements

Number of ATMs (thousands)

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 4.2) ATMs 2002 – 2012

2012     8,152  (down – 14.8% on 2011)

2011     10,000 (down – 24%  on 2010)

2010     13,000 (down -15% on 2009)   link to 2010 data
2009    15,478  (down – 29.8% compared to 2008)
2008     20 (approx – thousands):
2007     20
2006     19
2005     21
2000     11
1997     10

Air Freight

Freight tonnage  

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 13.2) Freight 2002 – 2012

2012     10,314 (down – 13% on 2011)
2011     11,846 ( down – 3%  on 2010)
2010    12,163  (down – 9% on 2009)    link to 2010 data
2009    13,385  (down 41% on 2008)
2008     22,966  (down -27% on 2007)
2007    31,517
2006    28,537
2005    29,199
2000    41,450
1997    33,874

Wikipedia page on Prestwick airport:
Proportion of domestic passengers, out of total passengers
CAA  statistics, annual figures   – comparing Tables 9 and 10.2

2006             23.8%
2007             24.5%
2008             28.4%

Business Aviation:   Number of business flights (= private jets)
CAA  statistics, annual figures – Table 3.1

2007            2     (+ 118 air taxis)
2008            –    ( +  30 air taxis)
Runway direction and length:  
13/31     2,987 metres 9,799 feet   Concrete/Asphalt
03/21     1,829 metres 6,000 feet   Asphalt
Some  news stories about Prestwick at Prestwick Airport News
There are also stories on Prestwick Airport from UK Airport News