MSP upbeat about Prestick plans

Carrick MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed the Scottish government’s stated intent to get Prestwick Airport back to a ‘healthy operating level’.

Mr Ingram, who is deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, was speaking after Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Nicola Sturgeon appeared in front of the committee this week.

Mr Ingram sought information on the refurbishment of the airport and plans to rebrand the airport as Robert Burns International.

Mr Ingram said the Cabinet Secretary responded positively stating that the overarching goal for the Scottish government was to get the airport to a healthy operating level.

Mr Ingram said: “I was very encouraged with the responses from the Cabinet Secretary on the current and future outlook for Prestwick Airport.

“The Scottish Government stepped in when the airport was failing to attract a buyer and will be investing £2.5 million in the next financial year to pay for the makeover of the terminal and other aspects of the mezzanine development to commercialise that particular part of the airport.

“However, the Scottish Government is not in a position to do everything immediately, so it will be about prioritising the things that will deliver the greatest return in the shortest space of time.

“I have been vociferous in my calls for the renaming of the airport to acknowledge the significance of its geographical placing and I believe that Robert Burns International Airport is a particularly appropriate name. The Cabinet Secretary indicated that she was not against the idea and that a rebranding will happen but a full and comprehensive report is still to be completed which will determine the outcome and inevitably the name of the airport.

“In terms of airline carriers Ryanair has been a mainstay for the airport and I was concerned that this may not always be the case however I was assured that they will continue to be extremely important to the future of the airport.

“I will continue to lobby for the Robert Burns International Airport and I am sure that the Cabinet Secretary will do everything possible to ensure a productive future for the airport.”