Glasgow Prestwick Airport is located 1.2 miles northeast of the town of Prestwick in South Ayrshire and is 32 miles from the city centre of Glasgow.
Prestwick Airport Map
Prestwick Airport used to host a bi-annual airshow, the first of which was held on 30 September 1967. While very small in scale compared to such shows as RAF Fairford or Farnborough, the Scottish air show attracted up to 100,000 spectators to Prestwick in its heyday in the 1980s.
Prestwick is the fifth busiest airport in Scotland in terms of passenger traffic, after Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow International Airport, Aberdeen Airport and Inverness.
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Arrivals/Departures & Scanner Frequencies
Prestwick Airport Scanner Frequencies:
Approach - 129.450, 121.500
Radar - 129.450, 124.630
Tower - 118.150, 127.155, 121.500
ATIS - 121.130
From 1934 to 1935, the airport was built with control tower, hangar, and offices to be used mainly as a training airfield. It was owned by David Fowler McIntyre and backed by the Duke of Hamilton who had both been the first aviators to fly atop Mount Everest in 1933. In 1938, passenger facilities were added and later made compatible with the new jet aircraft. In the Second World War the RAF controlled trans-Atlantic flights from Prestwick. In 1958, the runway was 7,000ft long and in 1960 extended to 9,800ft. In 1964, a taxiway, link-road, and new terminal building were opened. The USAF were based here from 1952 until 1966.
Until February 2016 part of the Prestwick site was occupied by the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm with RNAS Prestwick, officially known by the Royal Navy as HMS Gannet, where a detachment of three Sea Kings provided a search and rescue role.
Scottish Aviation had a factory on site using the original terminal building and produced the Prestwick Pioneer, Jetstream, and Bulldog here. When Scottish Aviation merged with British Aerospace aircraft production was maintained until 1998 but BAE Systems still have a small facility on site for its BAE Systems Regional Aircraft division producing components for Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
Prestwick originally was the only Scottish Airport to operate a transatlantic link due to the good weather conditions and the fact that it is the only fog-free airport in Britain. This made it a good diversionary airport when bad weather affected other airports. In 1983, Prestwick was also used for Concorde pilot training. Prestwick also hosted a bi-annual airshow from 1967 to 1992.
In 1992, the airport was sold to Matthew Hudson, a Canadian entrepreneur, who built a railway station at the airport. The rapid growth of European no-frills airlines in the late 1990s saw the airport's traffic increase. In 1998, the airport was sold to Stagecoach, a Scottish transportation group.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport is considered to be the only place in the United Kingdom where Elvis Presley ever set foot, when the United States Army transport plane carrying him home stopped to refuel in 1960, en route from Germany. A lounge bearing his name and a marker reflecting this event were inaugurated in 2006.
Today, Ryanair serves more than 20 destinations from Prestwick, and is one of their maintenance hubs. Other budget airlines have moved to the airport. Prestwick is also used as a refueling point for military aircraft with regular visitors by the RAF, USAF, and Canadian Forces Air Command. The airport is also used for cargo traffic, and was owned by Infritil, a New Zealand investment company, who refurbished the main terminal building. The Scottish Government took the airport back into public ownership in 2012. As part of the privatisation of the UK's search and rescue service, Bristow Helicopters based two Sikorsky S-92 helicopters in a new hangar, replacing HMS Gannet in 2016.
In 2015, Glasgow Prestwick Airport was shortlisted as a potential UK Spaceport, as part of the British commercial spaceport competition.
In June 2019, the Scottish government announced that it was putting the airport up for sale. In February 2021, the Scottish government announced that a preferred bidder had been selected to buy the airport. The unnamed bidder is believed to be a European transport infrastructure investor.
Getting to Glasgow Prestwick Airport
The M77 road link means that Glasgow city centre is only a 32 mile drive on motorway. The Sat Nav postcode is KA9 2PL
Glasgow Prestwick is the only airport in Scotland served by its own railway station, 'Prestwick International Airport Railway Station' which is accessible by a covered walkway to/from the airport. Trains from Glasgow Prestwick Airport go to Glasgow Central Station and Ayr.
Buses to Prestwick Airport are operated by Stagecoach Western X77 Express Service
Taxis are available for immediate hire outside the terminal building.
• Car Parking
• Drop off & Pick up