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Glasgow Prestwick Airport plans to return to private ownership within the next Five years

Glasgow Prestwick Airport, last week, published its Strategic Plan 2017 to 2022 following approval from its Board. 


This plan has been produced by the Executive Team, following the appointment of Mr Ron Smith as Chief Executive Officer in May 2016. This five year plan outlines a new vision for the airport “to be the airport that is recognised for going beyond traditional boundaries to offer customers opportunities, solutions and best value in serving Scotland, the UK and the world.” It also states that the purpose in the next five years for the management team is to “return the business to private ownership with a sustainable future as an airport.” This document builds upon a number of actions taken by Mr Smith since his appointment – primarily the proactive and targeted approach to Business Development activities. In the past year, the team has also reviewed forecasts for the future – taking in to consideration their operating base, competition and what is happening in the wider aviation market. The airport Executive Team has taken a measured approach to forecasting to ensure that the figures are achievable and as accurate as possible to allow the Board and its Shareholder to make effective decisions and plan for the future. Andrew Miller, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Chair, commented: “This plan is a culmination of much of the effort made since the Scottish Government took ownership of the airport. I joined in November 2014 and worked to build an experienced and effective Board and bring together an Executive Team that is well positioned to drive forward the turnaround of the airport. “I welcome the launch of this plan. There has been a significant amount of analysis and research in establishing a sustainable business plan that has been challenged and improved throughout its development and as a result we now have something that is realistic and realisable. This is a plan that the Board is able to get behind and support. “This Strategic Plan gives our Shareholder the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the public an outline of what the airport team will be working towards. Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a vital contributor to the Ayrshire, Scottish and UK economy, it provides valuable employment and is an important national infrastructure asset. This plan sets out how we will also make it a profitable and sustainable airport for generations to come.” 

Ron Smith, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Chief Executive Officer, said: “The picture for Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a positive one – we believe our passenger numbers have bottomed out and are on the up again, cargo income is consistent in spite of changes in the wider market, military income is growing, property occupancy are at an all-time high and early indications for the last financial year show that our losses are less than predicted. The turnaround will be challenging and will take time but it has started and this plan will build upon this. “We have the widest service offering of any airport in Scotland and we have a number of unique advantages. This plan will enable us to focus and maximise on the opportunities available to us, including the opportunity to return the business to the private sector. “The Scottish Government has always stated that they would like to return the business to the private sector and this is a fundamental pillar of our plan. We are working to make the business an attractive prospect for a private investor to come in and build upon this strategy – someone that can bring in additional funds to upgrade our infrastructure and facilities and attract even more business. If we are able to do this, we could speed up our turnaround.”

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