Five-year plan for Glasgow Prestwick to return to private sector

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Glasgow Prestwick Airport has published its Strategic Plan 2017 to 2022 following approval from its board.

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”.

The plan 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 new chief executive officer (CEO), Ron 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 into consideration their operating base, competition and what is happening in the wider aviation market.

The airport’s says its 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 shareholders to make effective decisions and plan for the future.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport CEO, Ron Smith says: “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.”

In December 2015, the airport appointed a new business development director for cargo in Mike Stewart as it placed more emphasis on growing its freight business and cargo is seen as a key area for growth.

In the financial year from March 2015 to April 2016, Glasgow Prestwick handled a total import and export of 11,367,190 kilos of cargo. It receives seven scheduled Boeing 747 freighters per week including Cargolux, Air France and Volga-Dnepr.