Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Glasgow Prestwick Airport is located on the Ayrshire coast in Western Scotland, and is approximately 35 minutes by road from Glasgow. The Airport also has its own railway station and trains operate every half hour from the Glasgow city centre.
Approximately two million people live within a one hour drive of the Airport and four million within two hours. In the year to March 2012, Glasgow Prestwick Airport served over 1.2 million passengers and 11,708 metric tonnes of freight.
Physical and Operational Features:
- The airport has two runways (2,987 meters and 1,829 meters) enabling unrestricted operation of wide-bodied aircraft including B747-400's
- Sparsely populated runway approaches mean that there are no noise or operational restrictions and no curfews. All services, including customs and immigration, are operational 24 hours a day. Glasgow Prestwick International Airport terminal facilities have significant spare capacity and up to three million passengers could use the airport without significant additional capital expenditure
- The Airport comprises 40 hectares of land situated on one of South Scotland's busiest roads linking Ayr and Prestwick to the South, and Troon, Irvine, Kilmarnock and Glasgow to the North. Significant development opportunities exist, both related to the Airport and other transportation options.
- The Airport has comprehensive freight handling capabilities including an £8 million 1,500m2 freight building constructed in 1998 and a modern 747 capable hangar constructed for Polar Air.
- Compared to Glasgow Prestwick Airport, BAA Glasgow Abbotsinch (8.8 million passengers) and Edinburgh (8.4million passengers) have physical and operational capacity constraints. It is probable that neither of those airports can significantly alleviate these constraints. Glasgow Prestwick Airport's aeronautical charges are also a factor in its favour, currently being well below the landing charges of BAA Glasgow Abbotsinch and Edinburgh.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport's income is markedly different from most airports, which rely to a large extent on aeronautical revenue from scheduled passenger services. A significant percentage of the Airport’s aviation revenue is derived from freight and other aircraft activity, with commercial related business and property income also playing a significant role.
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport's approximate revenue breakdown is as follows:
Glasgow Prestwick Airport's passenger business doubled over the seven years to 2007.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport enjoyed the highest growth rate of the main Scottish airports and has ranked third in terms of passenger growth among the UK regional airports during this seven year cycle.
This growth is expected to moderate but, for the UK as a whole, air travel is forecast to increase over 5% per annum and for low cost carriers (such as Ryanair) the forecast growth rate is 15% per annum.
The majority of passengers using Glasgow Prestwick Airport are flying with Ryanair, Europe's most successful low cost carrier (http://www.ryanair.com/). Ryanair carried over 50 million passengers in 2008.
Ryanair currently serve 33 city destinations in the UK and Europe from Prestwick, including London, Barcelona, Budapest, Rome, Oslo, Dublin and Stockholm.
The combination of direct routes (rather than hub services) and low fare 'no frills' service is attractive to passengers. Air transport is very price elastic and the arrival of a low-cost carrier to an airport typically leads to significant increases in traffic growth.
The European low-cost sector grew at a compound rate of more than 80% per annum in the 5 years to 1999, at which time it made up 4% of all intra-European flight capacity. This is less than half the US market share of low-cost carriers. Further growth is expected which is reflected in the aircraft orders of the low-cost airlines. In January 2002, Ryanair announced the largest single firm order for Boeing' s Next Generation 737s to enable it to increase capacity.
Freight and other
Approximately 30% of Glasgow Prestwick International Airport's air freight is Scottish origin/destination and the airport accounts for 50% of the air cargo handled in Scotland. However, about two thirds of Scotland's air freight is trucked out of Scotland for loading at other airports, so significant growth opportunities exist.
The Airport's excellent aeronautical facilities, 24 hour curfew free operation, clear weather, and linkage to land transport makes it an ideal freight entry point from North America to the rest of Europe. Freight arriving at 5pm in Glasgow Prestwick International Airport can be delivered in London before the start of business the following morning. Glasgow Prestwick Airport's natural local freight catchment has also contributed to growth. Cargolux and Air France/KLM operate scheduled services out of GPIA. Charter operators include Evergreen, Panalpina, Kalitta Air, Meridian and Volga Dneper. Worldwide the dedicated freighter market is growing rapidly, as freight capacity on passenger aircraft has not kept pace with demand.
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport is the base for the Scottish aerospace industry and houses significant manufacturing and maintenance facilities:
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport benefits from the location of this industry in terms of rental income and the collateral activities, such as freight, aircraft landing and parking, and business traffic.