Friday 9 May 2003


Like Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports, Prestwick used to be owned by the nationalised British Airports Authority. The Conservatives privatised BAA and the new organisation is a great improvement on the previous state-owned dinosaur. In Scotland, though, BAA wanted to get rid of Prestwick after it lost the transatlantic monopoly and seemingly faced closure. A consortium of local businessmen acquired the airport in 1992 and it has prospered ever since. Now, passenger numbers are booming:
April broke all previous records for the Ayrshire airport, with passenger numbers up 25.3 per cent on April last year, with more than 5,500 passengers using the airport every day.

Wilson added: "We now operate more direct scheduled services to European destinations than Glasgow and Edinburgh airports put together."

I grew up in Prestwick and am heartened by the way that the airport has been successfully turned around. Edinburgh and Glasgow remain under BAA control. It would probably help the two cities if the same company did not own both airports.