Prestwick Airport (United States Military Payments)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10th September 2019.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

Brian Whittle will be aware that the airport operates at arm’s length from the Scottish Government, to make sure that we comply with European state aid rules. Therefore, the Scottish Government is not directly involved in any contractual discussions that relate to the airport itself.

The very fact that we stepped in to purchase the airport—recognising its strategic importance, both as an airfield and as an aviation facility—and that we continue to support it in looking to diversify the business, is a reflection of the value that we see that it has, not only to the Ayrshire economy but to the national economy of Scotland as a whole.

Brian Whittle may also want to reflect on the details that were set out in the eligibility questionnaire for interested parties that was associated with the advertising of the airport, which set out very clearly to anyone who is bidding for the airport that we expect it to be maintained as an active airfield and that the progress that has been made in recent years by the management team at the airport is built on.