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Prestwick Airport to be nationalised

9-Oct-2013 12:58 PM
Transport Scotland stated (08-Oct-2013) Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the Scottish Government is entering into talks to safeguard around 1400 jobs by bringing UK's Prestwick Airport into public ownership. Prestwick Airport has been on the market since Mar-2012. The Scottish Government, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and South Ayrshire Council, has been working with current owners Infratil to help find a private buyer, noting: "Despite those efforts and interest from potential investors, the process has now reached a point where it’s clear that no private buyer will be able to take the purchase forward in an acceptable timescale to the current owner. Ms Sturgeon said: “Prestwick Airport’s importance to the local Ayrshire and wider Scottish economy cannot be overstated and it is vital that all efforts are made to keep the airport open. Around 300 people depend directly on the airport for employment and, in total, there are around 1400 people whose jobs depend on or are associated with the airport. Unemployment in Ayrshire is already above the Scottish average and the loss of Prestwick Airport would exacerbate this situation". She added, “Taking account of the aerospace cluster at Prestwick, there are a total of 3200 jobs directly or indirectly associated with the airport. Whilst the aerospace jobs are not directly dependent on the airport, it acts as an anchor for these businesses. It is undoubtedly the case that this important part of the Ayrshire economy would be less secure in the future without the continued operation of Prestwick Airport". The Scottish Government has advised the current owners Infratil of our intention to commence a process towards acquisition of Prestwick Airport. Over the next few weeks we will focus on due diligence, legal and commercial issues around public ownership and the development of a business plan. [more - original PR]