A REGIONAL airport is "at risk of closure" after being supported by the Scottish Government for 11 years.

Auditors in Scotland have revealed that Prestwick Airport in Glasgow needs million more pounds of public money in order to remain open.

According to The Herald, the Scottish Government bought the airport for £1 in 2013 to help protect 1,400 jobs at the site.

Since then, £31m of tax payer money has been used to support the airport.

According to Audit Scotland, millions of pounds are needed to sustain the airport as long as it remains in public hands.

While the Scottish Government has been trying to sell the airport, potential buyers have fallen through in recent years.

Read More on Airports

Spain holiday warning due to strikes – find out if your flights will be affected

Little-known UK airport to relaunch passenger flights – the first in 20 years

Even though airport directors do not need to pay back the multi-million pound loan until March 31, 2024, auditors are debating whether the public spending at the airport is good value for money.

Airport directors said they expect support to continue beyond that date "for the foreseesable future".

However, Stephen Boyle, Auditor General, told MSPs: "It's not about getting the money back, it's about when public money has been invested, that the intended outcomes are clear as to what's going to be achieved from that.

"These are long term commitments, taking many millions pounds of public expenditure.

Most read in News Travel

AVI-OFF

Spain holiday warning due to strikes – find out if your flights will be affected

FARE ENOUGH

Little-known UK airport to relaunch passenger flights – the first in 20 years

VAN FARE

We renovated a van for £1k &travel the world for free – here's how you can

SMOCK HORROR

Couple horrified after reaising holiday outfits sent a raunchy secret signal

"And really, for any investment, whether it's public sector, or private sector, when you are investing that amount, it really goes back to the business case."

Graham Simpson, the Scottish Conservative Shadow Transport Minister has said the financial support was "supposed to be a temporary measure to protect jobs, until the SNP Government manages to find a buyer".

In the year to March 2022 Prestwick Airport made a profit of £1.2m – down from £12.8m the previous year.

However, this drop in profits was also in part due to Covid, which saw flights grounded and borders closed.

Sun Online Travel has approached Prestwick Airport for a comment.

The airport is mainly used by Ryanair, and is the fifth biggest airport in Scotland, connecting passengers to both the UK and Europe.

It comes just days after Wizz Air confirmed all flights would be cancelled from a regional airport.


Source: Read Full Article