Local SNP MSP Adam Ingram participated in a members debate brought forward by Ayr MSP John Scott in the Scottish Parliament this week on Prestwick Airport’s bid to become the UK’s first spaceport. .
Commenting Mr Ingram said: “Prestwick surely must be the preferred bidder from a Scottish perspective. There is an experienced high-tech aerospace workforce in substantial aviation and engineering companies on site. The Scottish Government has awarded the aerospace park Enterprise Area status.
“Our universities in the West of Scotland are at the forefront of space and engineering research and technology. Couple that with the established physical infrastructure including a 3km runway, safe over water flight paths, clear airspace, an enviable weather record, and well developed transport connections to the rest of Scotland and the case becomes incontrovertible.
“Prestwick maximises the value that can come to Scotland from space sector growth. That does not mean that other potential Scottish locations should be left out in the cold. Prestwick could operate Machrihanish as a diversionary location and for special test operations. Highlands and Islands locations should be developed for ground station networks.
“A bid which incorporates these features would have every chance of success. Scotland would clearly be best placed for UK satellite launch and polar orbit deployments AND ground stations for satellite data capture.