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Move to sell Prestwick airport welcomed

The Scottish Government has confirmed today that Prestwick Airport, which has been in public ownership since being purchased by the government in November 2013 for £1, is now being marketed for potential sale.

In response to a question in the Scottish Parliament today, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson set out plans to place an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting expressions of interest in the airport.

John Scott, Scottish Conservative MSP for Ayr said:

 

“It is good news that Prestwick Airport is now being actively marketed for sale and I hope that a buyer can be secured at the earliest opportunity.

“Despite the problems the airport has faced over recent years, and the need for it to be taken over by the government in 2013, I have always firmly believed that it has the potential for a bright future.

“Prestwick has all the foundations for success; the longest commercial runway and parallel taxiway in Scotland, a reputation of being Britain's only fog-free airport, its own dedicated railway station and a thriving aerospace campus. 

“What it now needs is an owner prepared to put in the investment to take the airport forward as the major economic asset it undoubtedly is.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

The parliamentary response can be found here –

Michael Matheson: Since the Scottish Government bought Glasgow Prestwick Airport (GPA) 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 GPA 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 GPA to increase revenue; deliver operating efficiencies; and pursue exciting opportunities for the future including Spaceport. In light of that progress, GPA will shortly place an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting expressions of interest in GPA. Any proposals submitted as a result of the advert would be considered carefully before any decision was taken to divest our shareholding in GPA or any part of it. We will provide an update to Parliament should any credible expressions of interest be received, while respecting the need to maintain confidentiality for commercial reasons.

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