Whilst Heathrow Airport contends with terrorists, super villains and would-be illegal immigrants, Glasgow Prestwick has been fighting a losing battle against a different foe altogether.
The Ayrshire site has been evacuated three times in the last month, due to burnt toast. Fire crews arrived to find nothing amiss, save for the thick black smoke pouring out of the staffroom doors.
Bosses blamed immigration officers for the lapse, which forced thousands of travellers to flee the airport. Prestwick has since been asked to consider a full toaster-ban to prevent further disruption.
Visitors to the Daily Record website, a Scottish newspaper, were bemused – “The first toaster incident should have led to an outright ban. One can only hope it’s not the same management in charge of aircraft safety.”
Fire crews were concerned that the false alarms could put lives at risk, but claimed a lasting relationship with the airport. Prestwick has reminded all airport staff of the proper way to use a toaster.
October and November were difficult months for Prestwick – ignoring the toast fiasco; the airport recorded a 28% drop in passenger numbers over the same period last year. Officials downplayed the news, citing a number of new routes as potential growth areas.
Around thirty different destinations are now available to sun worshippers, departing in summer 2010. Carcassonne, an ancient city in Languedoc, France is the latest addition, provided by budget airline, Ryanair.
Prestwick claims to be Scotland’s most popular airport for holidaymakers, but further evacuations could really upset the airport’s business model.