Glasgow Prestwick International Airport (Discussions)

Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 4th December 2008.

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Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative 11:40 am, 4th December 2008

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the management of Glasgow Prestwick international airport following the publication of the airport's development master plan. (S3O-5058)

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government has had no discussions with the management of Glasgow Prestwick international airport since publication of the airport's draft master plan on 29 October.

Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative

I thank the minister for that reply. As he will know, Prestwick airport, which makes a huge contribution to the economy of Ayrshire and Scotland, forecasts that its annual passenger numbers are set to double over the next 10 years to 5.7 million. A key element identified in the master plan is the need to increase rail capacity on the Ayr to Glasgow line, and in particular the need to increase the current service frequency of two services an hour, especially at peak times. Will the minister support that position? Will he enter into discussions with Prestwick airport, First ScotRail and other relevant agencies to secure that increase in service?

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

Surface transport to our airports is an important part of the provision that we in Government must make. I shall be supporting Prestwick airport myself when I fly out on Sunday on its direct flight to Poznań for the climate change leaders side event that will take place on Monday and Tuesday. I recognise, both personally and as a minister, the importance of Prestwick airport and its being connected to the rest of Scotland.