Numbers at Prestwick rise as airport expansion starts

Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire may not be a household name south of the border (although it does have the surprising claim to fame as being the only part of the UK ever to have been visited by Elvis Presley) but things are looking decidedly rosy for the Scottish airport.

Unlike many of its more well-known competitors, passenger numbers for September 2008 rose for the fifth consecutive month and work has recently started on a £1.7 million expansion plan for the airport.

The collapse of Seguro Holidays in September meant a drop in charter traffic but the airport remains a firm favourite with budget airlines such as Ryanair, Aer Arann, and Wizz Air. The £1.7 million is to be spent on expanding and refurbishing the departure lounge, a move which will be welcomed by the passengers using the airport. John Scott, MSP for Ayr, is delighted by the expansion and the benefits which it will bring to the region’s economy. Prestwick is the main employer in the area.

The airport predicts that passenger numbers will more than double in the next ten years. As Scotland’s fastest growing airport, it expects to take more of the Scottish market in the future and believes that if its rail service can be improved, it will do even better. Currently 20% of its passengers arrive and depart from the airport by train but with a restricted service in terms of operating hours this is not always an option for holiday makers and business travellers.

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