Scottish Government decides not to sell Prestwick Airport

MSPs have decided not to sell Prestwick Airport after rejecting a second bid for the terminal in February.

Scottish Government decides not to sell Prestwick Airport Getty Images

The Scottish Government has decided not to sell Prestwick Airport after rejecting a second bid for the site.

The airport was taken into public ownership in November 2013 after being purchased by the Government for £1, following heavy losses.

A preferred bidder for the airport had been found in February, following the collapse of a previous attempt to sell the South Ayrshire airport in 2020.

Ministers have now decided not to sell the airspace, with finance secretary Kate Forbes telling MSPs that Prestwick was “carving a niche” as a specialist airport.

Opposition parties responded by telling the Scottish government that they must demonstrate a plan for the future of the airport and the public money invested.

In a written answer at Holyrood, Ms Forbes said: “Glasgow Prestwick Airport continues to develop as a specialist airport, carving a niche in a very competitive aviation market.

“The Scottish Government is laying the annual report and accounts today in Parliament which show that the business continues in a positive direction with a profit posted for 2020-21.

“Scottish ministers still intend for Prestwick Airport to return to the private sector at the appropriate time and opportunity.

“Having carefully considered bids received under a recent sales process, I can advise that Ministers have decided to not proceed with a sale at this time.

“The Scottish Government remains supportive of the business.

“The airport has recently made several new appointments to the operating Board, including a new Non-Executive Chair.

“With a refreshed board and management in place, the Scottish Government is confident the business will continue to develop its strategy for growth.”