Breathe
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Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:06 pm

I wonder who would be interested in buying the airport? A private equity firm would be my first thought. I don't see any airport holding companies interested in buying it.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland- ... s-48627212

Prestwick Airport is being put up for sale by the Scottish government.

The airport was taken into public ownership six years ago after it was threatened with closure following heavy losses.

Transport Scotland said an advert would be placed in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting expressions of interest.

Ministers have regarded Prestwick Airport as a strategic economic asset, particularly for Ayrshire.

It passed into state hands after being bought by the Scottish government for £1 in late 2013.

The Scottish government said then that the deal would help protect the airport and safeguard thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

Prestwick has been looking to turn around it fortunes, including applying to carry out horizontal space launches from its 2,986-metre concrete case runway.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: "Since the Scottish government bought Glasgow Prestwick Airport in 2013, we have been clear that it is our intention to return the business to the private sector when the time is right.

"The senior management team at the airport has continued to engage with potential buyers and investors to discuss proposals for developing the business under new ownership.

"Good progress continues to be made by the airport to increase revenue, deliver operating efficiencies and pursue exciting opportunities for the future, including Spaceport."

Mr Matheson added that any expressions of interest would be "considered carefully" before any decision was taken to divest the government's shareholding in the airport or any part of the business.

In January, it emerged that the debt owed by Prestwick Airport to the Scottish government had risen from £30m to £38.4m.

That was while revenue rose through a doubling of funds from refuelling aircraft at the publicly-owned facility.

Accounts lodged with Companies House showed the holding company made a loss of £7.6m in the year to March 2018, down from £8.6m the previous year.
 
ScottishDavie
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:22 pm

If the Scottish government gets back the £1 they paid for it they should consider themselves lucky. Whatever its historic importance, Prestwick today is a white elephant. Not being a fan of the current Scottish government I can't help wondering if the decision to keep it open had anything to do with the fact that the First Minister is a native of Irvine, just along the road. Wasn't there a suggestion at one point that it might become Scotland's first spaceport? Wonder what happened to that idea? Prestwick's only real advantage is having a main line railway station although the line only goes to Glasgow Central and most destinations north or east of Glasgow require a transfer to Glasgow Queen Street.
Last edited by ScottishDavie on Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Breathe
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:30 pm

I'm not an expert in the field, perhaps it could do well just as a small cargo airport with other associated facilities like refuelling U.S military planes and Ryanair maintenance.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:58 pm

Breathe wrote:
I'm not an expert in the field, perhaps it could do well just as a small cargo airport with other associated facilities like refuelling U.S military planes and Ryanair maintenance.


That is pretty much all it does these days. A likely buyer may in fact be a housing developer...
 
gravytrain
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:33 am

It's a glorified landing strip with a 1960s built transatlantic terminal running on 4-5 departures a day and in the dead of winter there is as little as one flight a day some days. As long as it operates as a commercial airport it will bleed tax payers money every single year. The cargo ops there isn't that grand either.
 
BritishB747
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:09 am

I don't think there is a future for Prestwick Airport unfortunately. Certainly not as a passenger facility. The fact of the matter is that it is just too much capacity in the wrong location. Glasgow Airport is hardly operating at capacity, and could certainly take the extra five or so flights a day that PIK currently operates. It is also south-west of Glasgow making it particularly awkward to get to for people outwith Glasgow. I know the Strathclyde area has around 2.5 million people, but is that really enough to justify two airports, especially with a booming EDI just along the M8.

Taking that into consideration, would a PIK that relies on cargo, refuelling and training be any more viable? Again, I am not so sure. I think the nail in the coffin came in 1990 with the abolition of the Scottish Lowland Airports Traffic Distribution Rules. The artificial regulation that made PIK the only Scottish intercontinental gateway. All the major trans-Atlantic players moved their operations up the M77 to GLA after this stipulation was removed, and then some have since ended up at EDI. Ever since then the operation have been on life support for nearly 30 years, and the facilities represent that.

Even with rock bottom landing fees the airport is failing to attract new business. In this supply and demand market, there is plenty of supply at Prestwick, and its cheap, but nobody wants to buy it. The spaceport deal has gone down to Cornwall, and although PIK is one of the shortlisted locations for a Heathrow Expansion Logistics Hub, I cant see this making much of an impact on airport operations (if you look at the shortlisted sites, most do not have an airport attached to them suggesting most of the 'logistics' will go by road and rail).

Prestwick is an airport with a lot of history in Scotland, but I think that is where the airport will be consigned to - history.
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Breathe
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:52 am

I wonder where all the jobs at Spirit Aerosystems, Ryanair, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft etc. would go if the airport closed. GLA, EDI, downsouth or abroad???
 
by738
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:31 pm

Breathe wrote:
I wonder where all the jobs at Spirit Aerosystems, Ryanair, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft etc. would go if the airport closed. GLA, EDI, downsouth or abroad???

Theres no need for them to go anywhere. Its just the oversized terminal and commercial pax aspect that needs to shut.
 
dilettante
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:22 pm

Breathe wrote:
I wonder where all the jobs at Spirit Aerosystems, Ryanair, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft etc. would go if the airport closed. GLA, EDI, downsouth or abroad???


If the land is sold to a developer then they might move up to Glasgow as part of the new advanced manufacturing district that was part of the city deal funding package. Otherwise, they might just pack up...
 
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sassiciai
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:43 pm

PIK was a very useful airport in the early days of TATL flights (and probably before for military flights and delivery flights). When in winter time much of the UK was covered in impenetrable fog that closed many/all destination airports, PIK had an unrivaled reputation for being fog-free (next to the coast with its prevailing on-shore wind), and was often used as a diversion airport.

Fog in Glasgow and Edinburgh has not disappeared as an occasional phenomenon, so closing PIK would eliminate that fall-back entirely

Someone above indicated that the desire is to close the PIK Terminal, as that is what racks up the losses. So close it, even demolish it!

It might then have a chance as a non-pax (ex emergency weather diversions) to make it as a refueling point for delivery for lighter aircraft, for cargo, for military, and for the Royal Navy S&R helicopters. I wonder if it could be developed as a logistics hub!
 
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sassiciai
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:46 pm

sassiciai wrote:
PIK was a very useful airport in the early days of TATL flights (and probably before for military flights and delivery flights). When in winter time much of the UK was covered in impenetrable fog that closed many/all destination airports, PIK had an unrivaled reputation for being fog-free (next to the coast with its prevailing on-shore wind), and was often used as a diversion airport.

Fog in Glasgow and Edinburgh has not disappeared as an occasional phenomenon, so closing PIK would eliminate that fall-back entirely

Someone above indicated that the desire is to close the PIK Terminal, as that is what racks up the losses. So close it, even demolish it!

It might then have a chance as a non-pax (ex emergency weather diversions) to make it as a refueling point for delivery for lighter aircraft, for cargo, for military, and for the Royal Navy S&R helicopters. I wonder if it could be developed as a logistics hub!


Edit to add: It also has a number of aviation companies active there, as mentioned in earlier posts. Shutting the terminal but keeping open the airport would allow these activities to continue!
 
BTC
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:06 pm

The current Scottish Government have been pontificating lately about the Climate Emergency that they've declared.
They couldn't be seen to be owning an airport, (which was bought for political reasons), although it hasn't stopped them cutting rail improvements like the pruning of Borders, and EGIP, and keeping on with the A9 dualling project.
Populism politics at play here.
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sassiciai
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:08 pm

As a boy, I grew up in Glasgow with a choice of 2 airports for "spotting" - Glasgow Renfrew or Prestwick.

Renfrew was the main airport for regular commercial flights both domestic and within Europe. The usual crew each visit included BEA (Vanguards, Viscounts, the Tridents), British Eagle (DC-6, Britannia, Viscount, later 111s), EI, Icelandair/Loftlieder, Highlands&Islands flights on DH Herons, and occasional charter flights. On some rare occasions when there was a major European football final played in Glasgow, the airport was generally almost overwhelmed by exotic charter flights!

In those days, as keen and young spotters, we were often accorded visits on-board during the servicing, including visits into the cockpit with guided tour by the flight crew. I'm talking about the late 1960s here

PIK had a totally different mix than Refrew. Instead of 150+ movements per visit, all of the "usual suspects" at Renfrew, PIK had maybe less than 50 movements, but each was noteworthy of note. All delivery flights were unique, and of a large range of types. Lots of MATS activity, PIK was a significant base for their TATL traffic, mostly as a refueling station. Canadian Airforce F104s were maintained there. BAe build and tested aircraft there (Jetstreams), and the Royal Navy had an SAR station there with Sikorsky 61 helicopters. In addition, there were scheduled regular services, including BOAC (B707 and VC10), PanAm, and some airlines that went bust since then. I recall Capital Airlines, Seaboard World, to name but 2

What a misspent youth!

A sad day for me when PIK as an operational airport will close, and become houses instead!



Renfrew was shut down when the current Glasgow airport opened several decades ago, and is now just a housing estate!
 
IndianicWorld
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:12 pm

Keeping the airport open without pax operations signs likely still be a possibility.

The costs of maintenance and operations at the terminal would be high, especially with the level of service it now gets.
 
Breathe
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:23 pm

Report saying the airport "could" be sold by October. Interesting there is no real mention about what happens to the debt the Scottish Gov. have accumulated in the sale!

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/177 ... y-october/

PRESTWICK Airport could be sold to a private bidder within four months, it has emerged.

Newly-issued official documents include an “indicative” sale completion date of October 4.

However they omit the £40m debt-pile burdening the loss-making operation.

The Scottish Government, which bought the airport for £1 in 2013to save it from closure, announced last week it was putting it up for sale in a bid to return it to the private sector.

It said an advert in the EU journal for public tenders would invite expressions of interest in order to “test the market”.

The move put a question mark over the £39.9m in Government loans keeping Prestwick afloat, with opposition parties questioning what if anything would ever be repaid.

The official documents for would-be bidders have now been released by TS Prestwick Holdco Ltd, the government owned company behind the airport.

The documents say the firm is “exploring the sale of 100% of its shareholding in Prestwick Aviation Holdings Ltd”, which owns Glasgow Prestwick Airport (GPA), and that the preffered bidder will be whoever submits “the most economically advantageous offer”.

They describe the airport as offering “a wide range of aviation services including freight, passenger military, specialist executive handling as well as general aviation.

“GPA is the only airport in Scotland to have its own railway station and railway link straight to the terminal. GPA has two runways serviced via six aprons.

“The terminal building was originally constructed for four million passengers and currently has capacity for 18 check in desks, 10 gates and 12 stands.

“GPA is located on a significant land bank of 356 hectares – 65 per cent of which is utilised for aviation activities.”

The documents say up to three bidders are expected, with companies told to lodge eligibility questionnaires by July 15.

An “indicative outline” of the next steps, which may change, says shortlisting of bidders could then be completed by July 26, due diligence work and the selection of a preferred bidder by September 6, and “transaction completion” by October 4.

The only clue in the documents to GPA’s grim financial position is a single reference to the Scottish Government being the preferred creditor, although the loan size is not given.

The documents say offers will be evaluated on “the price offered for the shareholding in Prestwick Aviation Holdings Ltd on a debt free cash free basis (to be applied in repayment of the Scottish Government loan first)”.

Offers will also be evaluated on “the level of transaction certainty and other terms of the Offer, covering aspects such as time period to completion, conditions attached to the Offer, terms of the sale and purchase agreement, and the deliverability of the proposals.”

Besides the £40m owed to the taxpayers, Prestwick also has around £8m in other liabilities, around the same as its assets.

According to its latest accounts, TS Prestwick Holdco Ltd made a £7.6m loss on a turnover of around £18.2m in 2017/18.

Ryanair is its last main commercial carrier, and its is increasingly reliant on cargo flights and refuelling services for business.

The SNP Government bought GPA, which supports 300 jobs directly and 1500 indirectly, from New Zealand-based Infratil after it tried in vain for a year to find a private bidder.

At the time, the airport was losing around £2m a year.

Then deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the government would produce a plan for “turning Prestwick around and making it a viable enterprise”, but it has kept making losses.
 
b747400erf
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:57 pm

There is a constant stream of cargo traffic and one main cargo parking spot on the main ramp to the west of the terminal. They could expand the cargo ramp and get more traffic if they are unable to attract more pax service.
 
Breathe
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:57 am

Speculation that the airport could close according to this article.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport ... -1-5049720

An aviation company chief who offered to buy debt-ridden Prestwick Airport fears it could be closed or scaled down if a sale cannot be secured.

Orbital Access chief executive Stuart McIntyre said nearly £40 million lent by ministers to keep the South Ayrshire site going was likely to have caused the sale to be delayed.

His comments follow transport secretary Michael Matheson admitting to MSPs that a deal could fall through, as The Scotsman revealed yesterday.

Mr Matheson wrote: “While efforts are currently focused on returning the airport to the private sector, which has been our intention since purchasing the airport in 2013, should this not be achievable for any reason we will consider options for taking the airport forward in the future.”

The airport was put up for sale in June, with official documents stating that a preferred bidder was expected to be chosen in the first week of September and the sale completed by about 4 October.

Mr McIntyre said his bid, which was made with investors independently of Orbital Access last year, had foundered because of the Scottish Government’s unwillingness to negotiate over the sale including responsibility for the £40m debt.

He told The Scotsman: “Our submission was rejected over the pivotal matter of the treatment of the Scottish Government debt.

“It was most certainly the stumbling block, and I would not be surprised if the debt question has become the problem in the current sale process.

“It certainly appeared to be a red line - the Scottish Government was unwilling to enter any substantive negotiations over it.

“The debt has been used to cover operating losses, not for infrastructure improvements, so it has had no economic value.

“Any acquirer of the airport will need to make significant infrastructure investment to put it on a level with competitors, such as to hangars and freight facilities.

“We proposed £100 million, plus a further £200 million from third parties.

“We decided not to renew our bid. Having been through it before, there was no point in spending on further bid costs.

“The fear of strategic Prestwick-based aerospace businesses such as ours is that the Scottish Government, if a sale isn’t achieved, will consider closure or a significant scaling back of airport operations with the associated devastating impact on the Ayrshire aerospace economy.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said: “To protect the integrity of the process, we will not be making any further comment and will update Parliament at the appropriate time.”

Ministers bought the airport for a token £1 to avert its closure and the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Mr Matheson told MSPs last week that detailed scrutiny of bids by the airport’s management was taking longer than expected.

It is unclear who has lodged bids for the site, but both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports - Prestwick’s rivals - have denied they have made offers.
 
bennett123
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:52 am

The fact that they always intended to return PIK the private sector is news to me.

No surprise that the £40M is an issue, quite apart from the need to invest £300M in new infrastructure.

Quite why GLA/EDI would be interested is beyond me.
 
ghYHZ
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:56 am

Ahhh…. memories of Prestwick!

It was my first trip across the pond. Air Canada’s L-1011 from Halifax and Heathrow operated via Prestwick in those days and we had just landed after crossing in a little over 4 hrs:

AC860 L-1011, Feb 6, 1989
Push-back Gate 18 at Halifax: 22:32 AT (Atlantic Time)
Wheels up at Halifax: 22:47 AT (or 02:47 British Time)
Wheels down at Prestwick: 07:11 BT
At Gate in Prestwick: 07:19 BT

It was still dark…..there was no bridge, we deplaned to the ramp and walked to the terminal in what the FA described as a “light Scotch Mist!”. Customs was a breeze and I was on my way into Glasgow on a ScotRail train within a half hour. I was starting a 10-day trip to the UK and I almost had to pinch myself!

WestJet flies from Halifax to Glasgow now connecting Nova Scotia (New Scotland) with old Scotland…….but summer only on a ‘737 to GLA.
 
by738
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:46 am

Yes the WestJet can be a double drop to YYZ and a short route on a 737. Seems to do quite well and comes back year after year.
PIK sale is a shambles. Surprised people/locals/taxpayers not kicking up more of a fuss about this.
Unless its becomes a pure aerospace strategic hub, it has no place now as a commercial airport. Even GLA up the road is lying half empty.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:28 am

Anyone wanna go halfsies?
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chunhimlai
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:03 am

Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:24 am

Will trump buy the airport to support his Turnberry operation as he already base his business helicopter fleet there
 
sevenair
Posts: 2832
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:18 am

Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:35 am

Apparently the NHS is going to be sold to Donald Trump so maybe if he does buy PIK it would help him. He could run the golfing business and the NHS from one place so it maybe a good idea for him to buy PIK.
 
Cunard
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:45 pm

Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:05 pm

Donald Trump as your fully aware is not permitted to involve his business activities along with being President of the United States of America!

The NHS is not going to be sold to Donald Trump, whatever is stated by the media it's just not going to happen.

How and why would Donald Trump run the NHS from an airport?

Let's get these ridiculous suggestions squashed before they are taken seriously!

PIK has had it's day as a commercial airport, that is a true fact, it's not fake news.

PIK has no real future regardless of the Spaceport intentions.
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sevenair
Posts: 2832
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:18 am

Re: Prestwick Airport put up for sale

Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:13 pm

Cunard wrote:
Donald Trump as your fully aware is not permitted to involve his business activities along with being President of the United States of America!

The NHS is not going to be sold to Donald Trump, whatever is stated by the media it's just not going to happen.

How and why would Donald Trump run the NHS from an airport?

Let's get these ridiculous suggestions squashed before they are taken seriously!

PIK has had it's day as a commercial airport, that is a true fact, it's not fake news.

PIK has no real future regardless of the Spaceport intentions.


I'm just going off of what Jeremry Corbyn himself said live on TV just a few days ago as well as the commentariat. Perhaps when the USA/Trump buy the NHS like we are told they will. PIK could be a strategic asset for the alleged new NHS owners should the Tory party win the GE2019.

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