14 May 2004
Tom Wilson, Managing Director of Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, today (May 14, 2004) announced that he will leave the company at the end of the month.
Mr Wilson joined GPIA in 1993 and has been in charge since 1997. During this period, Mr Wilson has led the organisation through significant growth and development including:
* the increase in Ryanair's operations from less than 500,000 passengers per annum to almost 2 million passengers pa and increasing the number of Ryanair routes available from 2 to 13;
* the introduction of other low-cost scheduled and charter carriers to GPIA further expanding the passenger base and variety of routes available to/from GPIA. For the first time ever, the airport handled in excess of 2 million passengers per annum which was achieved for the 12 months ended April 2004;
* the expansion of GPIA's air freight handling business from 20,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes, giving it more than 50% of the total Scottish air freight market and making it the most significant freight airport north of Manchester;
* the commissioning of significant aircraft maintenance facilities on-airport including the construction of a Boeing 747 hangar for use by Polar Air Cargo, a major player in global airfreight, and the recently-opened Ryanair two-bay Boeing 737-800 hangar, both of which are creating significant employment within Ayrshire;
* the development of the "AirTrain" scheme using the airport railway station which has resulted in 30% of GPIA passengers accessing Prestwick by rail;
* and strongly aligning the organisation with the interests and aspirations of Ayrshire and the Scottish economy in general including his role as President of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry and his position on the Ayrshire Economic Forum.
Phil Walker, Chairman of GPIA, paid tribute to Mr Wilson's leadership of the organisation over the past seven years. "It has been a period of substantial challenge and achievement, and he is leaving the organisation with a significantly expanded business base and well positioned to enjoy the growth opportunities the future holds."
Mr Wilson, who is currently setting up his own business within the aviation industry, commented: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Prestwick and wish to record my thanks to customers, employees and other stakeholders who have supported the airport during my time as Managing Director. The airport has grown perhaps beyond where all of us once thought possible and I am very confident that this growth can continue into the future."
Mr Walker said the process to find a suitable replacement will commence immediately. In the meantime he will act as Executive Chairman of the airport.
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