In its 80th year, Prestwick airport and its infrastructure face new challenges. 2104 may well turn out to be a pivotal year.
There are many well-meaning enthusiasts here in Scotland and abroad who want to ensure the future viability of this strategic asset.
What is lacking at the moment is a cohesive approach, generation of a long-term plan and realism. There is a danger that the debate will be centred on local issues and politics when international stakeholders and investors may well hold the key to long-term success.
I am confident nevertheless that Prestwick can be made to work. A small team of local volunteers are labouring to bring the Scottish Air Show to Prestwick and Ayr on 6 and 7 September after a gap of 22 years.
The aim is to have fun but to show the public the diversity and strengths of Prestwick, its business park and the surrounding business community which supports and nourishes employment and the economy in Ayrshire.
Concurrently on 4 September, NATS – the UK’s main air navigation service provider – is hosting a conference on regeneration.
Renowned international speakers have been combined with local entrepreneurs and aviation and other business specialists to provide an apolitical platform to debate ways ahead.
Do come and support the air show. The flying display is free on Saturday. And if you have business interests do come to the conference. You will be warmly welcomed and your views will be appreciated.
Malcolm Warr OBE
2014 Prestwick Air Show Organising Committee