Glasgow Airport Movements 2019
Yet again, the Glasgow Airport management weren`t too keen to announce their passenger figures as the numbers continue to decline. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stats just released show July 2019`s throughput was 966,615 which was down 9.35% compared with the same month last year. This gives a moving annual total of 9,185,067 (down 6.5%). There were no flights to Vancouver, Las Vegas or Philadelphia this time round and most other long haul destinations saw a significant drop; Cancun, Mexico -6%, Montego Bay, Jamaica, down 26%, Orlando International -16%, Orlando Sanford -22% and Toronto -29% - and things are about to get far worse...
Thomas Cook - The End of an Era
"As of 02:00 hrs on Monday 23 September 2019, the Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect. All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays have now been cancelled." (UK Civil Aviation Authority website).
Having grown to become one of the biggest names in travel, the original company was founded by Thomas Cook, a cabinet-maker, in 1841 to carry temperance supporters by railway between the cities of Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham. He organised his first tours to Europe in 1855 and the following year the founder's son John Mason Cook began working for the company full-time. Trips to the United States were first offered in 1866. In 1871, the founder`s son became a partner and the name of the company was changed to Thomas Cook & Son.
The company was nationalised along with the railways in 1948, becoming part of the British Transport Commission. After de-nationalisation in 1972 it was acquired by a consortium of Trust House Forte, Midland Bank and the Automobile Association then in 1992, it was bought by Westdeutsche Landesbank, a European commercial bank based in Düsseldorf, Germany.
In 2001 Thomas Cook & Son was acquired by the German company C&N Touristic AG, which changed its name to Thomas Cook AG. Since 2007, when Thomas Cook AG merged with MyTravel Group, the business has been known as Thomas Cook Group plc. The group operated in two separate segments: a tour operator and an airline.
Thomas Cook's Swiss chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the firm's collapse was a matter of profound regret and also apologised to the "millions of customers, and thousands of employees". However, anger quickly mounted after the media reported that Thomas Cook executives have been paid more than £20 million over the past five years. Mr Fankhauser has personally taken home £8.3 million since he took the helm in 2014, including a £2.9m bonus in 2015 and two chief financial officers have together been paid around £7 million since 2014. More than £4 million was also paid to the non-executive directors during the same period, all this despite rising debt and uncertainty about the company`s future.
Sadly, the tour operator's failure has meant 22,000 staff, including 9,000 based in the UK. have lost their jobs. It`s left not only pilots, cabin crew and ground staff with shattered career plans. Around 600 high street travel stores have closed and the domino effect following such a catastrophic collapse is huge, both at home and abroad with hundreds of smaller travel agents, suppliers and reliant businesses braced for the fallout. Thomas Cook holidaymakers were a massive source of income at many resorts.
With 600,000 people worldwide having their travel plans disrupted the British government in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) initiated its biggest repatriation effort since the Second World War. Codenamed Operation Matterhorn, around 45 airliners, some from as far afield as the USA, North Africa and Malaysia, were chartered to bring back holidaymakers stranded overseas, free of charge. The organisation was such that most travellers flew back on their scheduled day, even if some departures were delayed for several hours. People didn`t necessarily land at their point of departure though with many bussed home from a different UK airport.
Thomas Cook has been a major player at Glasgow International for decades with its fleet of big jets bringing hundreds of thousands of passengers to and from the city each year. Airbus A330-243 G-TCXC from Orlando operated the last-ever TCX flight into the airport, arriving just ahead of schedule at 05:35 hrs on the 23rd. A trio of A321s G-TCDD, G-TCDG and G-TCDH, had already flown in to be parked on remote stands close to the control tower.
To emphasise the fact that none of the carrier`s planes would be returning to the air anytime soon, large snow clearing vehicles were parked at the rear of each one to prevent push back. This appears to be a standard procedure rather than a realistic means of preventing unauthorised take-offs which would be nigh-on impossible at Glasgow and other UK airports, however, there may be potential for such an unlikely event in some countries if airport security is not as it should be.
Manchester Airport was Thomas Cook`s main base of operations and consequently saw the largest number of repatriation flights.
As the situation became increasingly grim over the weekend preceding the collapse, the CAA, who already had contingency plans for such an event, were quick to act. Malaysia Airlines A380 9M-MNF had already been placed on standby at Manchester and at least 3 Eastern 767-336s, namely N700KW, N703KW and N705KW (all ex British Airways), were ferried to Shannon from Miami. An Atlas Air Jumbo plus Titan Airways and Nile Air jets were among those tasked with returning travellers to Manchester and Bristol.
It was estimated that it could take up to a fortnight to complete the repatriation. The first of the Operation Matterhorn aircraft to appear at Glasgow were Boeing 737-8Q8(WL) N739MA (above) of Miami Air International returning passengers from Zakynthos and Privilege Style Boeing 767 EC-LZO (left) covering a Mahon, Minorca, flight. Both appeared on the afternoon of the 23rd.
Airbus A340-313 9H-SOL of Hi Fly Malta and Atlas Air Boeing 767-3S1(ER) N640GT flew in on the 24th, the latter aircraft from Orlando. The 25th saw Airbus A321-231 TC-ATH of AtlasGlobal and Freebird Airlines`A320-232 TC-FHG, with Eastern Boeing 767-336(ER) N705KW on the 26th.
The Miami International 737 was temporarily based here and, as some of the other aircraft involved made more than one flight to / from Glasgow, they`re only noted under the date they first appeared.
N739MA is pictured here heading out to collect another band of stranded tourists on 25 September. One of Thomas Cook`s impounded A320s is in the foreground.
Further Operation Matterhorn airliners visiting Glasgow International were Airbus A380-841 9H-MIP (f/v) (ex 9V-SKC) in Hi Fly`s `Save the Coral Reefs` livery, Orbest Air A330-343 CS-TRH (ex EC-KCP) and McDonnell Douglas MD-83 OY-RUE Danish Air Transport (27th); Airbus A330-203 TC-AGD AtlasGlobal from Antalya, Turkey (28th); A second Eastern Airlines Boeing 767-336(ER), N703KW, arrived at 03:30 hrs having flown up from Gatwick. Later, Boeing 737-8KS N758MA, an additional aircraft operated by Miami Air International arrived from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to assist in the repatriation. It arrived at Glasgow around midday (29th); Airbus A320-214 TS-INQ Nouvelair Tunisie from Enfidha and Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 G-VXLG both landed in the early hours, the Jumbo having been drafted in to return stranded holidaymakers from Orlando. Airbus A320-214 CS-TRO of Portuguese carrier White Airways brought back passengers from Reus, Spain, arriving late afternoon. Boeing 737-46N LZ-EBA Electra Airways flew up from London Gatwick having collected Thomas Cook passengers from Split, Croatia, earlier in the day (30th).
All-white Airbus A340-313 9H-SOL of Hi Fly Malta on stand on the morning of Tuesday 24 September.
Atlas Air Boeing 767-3S1(ER) N640GT arrived from Orlando, Florida, about 11:00 hrs on Tuesday 24 September.
Tailwind Airlines Boeing 737-4Q8 TC-TLA (ex N774AS) operated AWC531 on the 24th, bringing holidaymakers back from Turkish resorts. It flew in from Antalya via Tekirdağ. This carrier is based in Istanbul, offering national and international charter flights with its fleet of four Boeing 737-400s. I didn`t manage to capture this one on camera at Glasgow but took the above shot at Dusseldorf Airport in May this year.
Airbus A321-231 TC-ATH of AtlasGlobal brought back tourists from Dalaman on Wednesday 25 September, arriving here in the early hours. I captured its departure at 09:00 hrs. Freebird Airlines` A320-232 TC-FHG (not photographed) worked an additional flight from the same Turkish airport that afternoon.
Sometime late on the 26th, or during the early hours of Friday 27 September, the Thomas Cook A330 was moved to the disused runway on the northside to make way for a Hi Fly Airbus A380-841. With Emirates continuing to operate the type on the first of its two daily flights from Dubai until the end of the month when the service reverts to two Boeing Triple-sevens for the winter, this is the first occasion that two of the world`s largest civilian passenger planes have been on the ground together at Glasgow, or for that matter at any Scottish airport.
With a Virgin Jumbo and various other large airliners either coming, going or parked-up, this 24 hour period must have seen the largest-ever number of wide-bodies (aircraft-wise) at Glasgow. While the mass aerial repatriation was a spectacle that attracted not just aviation enthusiasts to many UK airports, it was something that no one would ever have wished for given the sad end for such an iconic British company and the detrimental impact it`s had on so many people`s lives.
A380-841 9H-MIP (ex 9V-SKC), the only one of the type operated by Hi Fly Malta, has been painted in a `Save the Coral Reefs` livery. Hi Fly Malta is a Maltese charter carrier founded in 2013 and is a subsidiary of Portugal’s Hi Fly. Other aircraft in its current fleet are nine Airbus A340s, including 9H-SOL which was initially parked alongside its `big brother` while the latter aircraft was on the ground at Glasgow, five A330s, a single A321 and three A319s. Hi Fly Malta is reportedly planning to launch scheduled services to the US sometime in the not too distant future.
A380 9H-MIP had flown from Enfidha in Tunisia to London Gatwick on Wednesday 25 September, then from there to Gran Canaria on the 26th, collecting Glasgow-bound passengers that same day. Having parked up here over the weekend, the big jet set off from Glasgow in the early hours of Sunday 29 September for Larnaca, Cyprus.
Additional shots of Boeing 737-8Q8(WL) N739MA of Miami Air International, this time heading out on Friday 27 September.
Below: Snapped at a distance from my house so not a great shot, this is Orbest Air A330-343 CS-TRH (ex EC-KCP) on finals for Runway 23 about 17:00 hrs on 27 September. The airliner was running just an hour over its scheduled time having flown in from Enfidha, Tunisia.
Orbest Portugal (Orbest Air) is a subsidiary of Spanish tour operator Barceló GRUPO. Orbest is based at Lisbon Portela Airport and offers scheduled and charter services in collaboration with fellow group carrier, Evelop Airlines on behalf of tour operators.
Its establishment can be traced back to 1998, when a predecessor airline under the name Iberworld was created as a subsidiary of hotel operator Grupo Iberostar. The carrier was acquired by Orizonia Group in 2006 and later rebranded as Orbest Orizonia Airlines. Following the collapse of the Orizonia Group in February 2013, the assets were sold to Barceló GRUPO and Orbest Portugal commenced operations. The carrier currently has narrow and wide-body Airbus family equipment.
A second Eastern Airlines Boeing 767-336(ER), N703KW (right), arrived at Glasgow about 03:30 hrs on the 29th, having flown up from Gatwick. It was nose-in to the pier when I passed late morning, so I initially missed out on a decent photo. When the airliner eventually pushed back from Stand 22, it immediately went tech and was later re-positioned onto Stand 39.
Boeing 737-8KS N758MA, another aircraft operated by Miami Air International, arrived from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to assist in the repatriation, touching down here, also on the 29th, around midday.
Miami Air International is a subsidiary of TSI Holding Company and is based at Miami International Airport. It operates domestic and international ad-hoc charters, offering services for incentive groups, major cruise operators, professional sports teams, the US military (troops and cargo), government and other clients. Miami Air International's fleet consists of Boeing 737-400s for the VIP division, plus Boeing 737-700, and Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Numerous Miami Air US military personnel related flights have transited through Prestwick Airport over the years.
Boeing 767 N703KW was on the remote stand, apparently still unserviceable when I made a circuit of the airport on the afternoon of Monday 30 September.
Many of Thomas Cook’s German subsidiaries also stopped trading as a result of the collapse but the group’s German airline, Condor, continued to operate although it too faced financial difficulty had it been unable to find extra cash to see it through the low booking season over the winter. Now, things are looking a bit brighter after Condor secured a €380m (£336m) bridging loan from the German government.
The loan, which remains subject to approval by the European Commission, came as Thomas Cook’s main German subsidiary, Thomas Cook GmbH, announced that it was following its British parent company into bankruptcy. The airline management said the bailout from the German taxpayer would enable it to continue operating while it seeks a new owner. Thomas Cook Scandinavia has so far been unaffected by the British collapse and is still flying, but by the end of the month unconnected airlines Aigle Azur, XL Airways France, and Adria had all filed for insolvency. The above view of Condor jets was taken at Dusseldorf Airport earlier this year.
United Nations Climate Change Conference: COP26
It was announced this month that the UK and Italy are to jointly host next year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP26, in Glasgow. The summit, billed as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, committing countries to keep global warming 'well-below' two degrees C.
COP26 is confirmed to take place in November 2020 at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC). It will likely come just after the next US presidential election. It will also be the year in which governments are due to review their national action plans to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Turkey had also been in the running to host the summit, but ultimately lost out to the joint bid from the UK and Italian governments. Italy will host the preliminary meeting and the UK will host the main two-week conference. With over 30,000 people from around the world and up to 200 world leaders expected to attend the final weekend, COP26 will be the largest summit the UK has ever hosted.
There should be a substantial influx of interesting aircraft appearing at Scottish airports but given the nature of the event many attendees will no doubt wish to emphasise that they travelled in an environmentally friendly way, such as overland, or using a scheduled flight rather than a military / government VIP plane or chartering a business jet, especially after the adverse comments that were levelled at Prince Harry recently for his choice of transport.
Outspoken on our duty to cut carbon emissions, the Prince was criticised in the media after being pictured with wife Meghan and son Archie boarding a private jet to Nice last month. Analysis of his last year of travel revealed 5 of 10 trips taken by Harry were made on private flights.
Although COP26 will be held in Glasgow, it`s likely that many of the aircraft, especially any larger types, will land at Prestwick and remain there rather than Glasgow International due to space constraints. The last major influx of aircraft to Prestwick was for the 31st G8 summit held on 6–8 July 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder.
Although September is officially classed as an autumn month, there`s always the chance of an Indian summer. The weather wasn`t great for the most part this time round, but on the weekend of Friday 20 / Saturday 21st there were clear skies and temperatures back in the twenties, which gave people what would likely be their last chance for a barbecue and tan `top-up` before winter starts to bite. On the Friday morning an unbroken sea of mist blanketed the Clyde estuary and much of the Glasgow area, conditions which in my opinion make it the best time to head onto the Kilpatrick Braes, whether on foot or on a bike for spectacular views. I chose the latter option hoping to photograph aircraft descending into the mist on approach for Runway 23 but operations were switched to `05` shortly after I gained the open hillside. The fog was so thick that almost everything below remained totally hidden, even the Erskine Bridge, apart from tree lines and pylons at the foot of the Campsie Fells far to the east.
The sky was busy with flyovers and although the moon was still clear visibility at Glasgow Airport was so poor that several aircraft were forced to adopt a holding pattern for a time to create a longer gap between landings, plus the incoming Air Transat flight from Toronto diverted to Prestwick. Birds provided the main interest as I made my way west along the Braes, riding, pushing and carrying my bike toward the Loch Humphrey track for the descent. I had great views of Meadow Pipits, Skylark and Snipe but the trips`s highlight by far was back at Erskine. The Clyde was very low and a Kingfisher was perched at the water`s edge right beside the Riverside walkway at Park Quay, the bird`s stunning plumage made all the more vivid in the overcast conditions.
Above: A Heathrow-bound Shuttle curves round to the southwest after lifting-off from `05`.
Intent on overwintering in the agricultural fields surrounding the airport, geese began to gather in increasing numbers throughout September. With the Black Cart Water, White Cart Water and River Clyde close by other species including waders, crows, wood pigeon and starling can often assemble in large flocks creating a heightened risk to aircraft during the winter months, as illustrated by the following shots which were taken in January this year. The above view of an easyJet Airbus on finals was taken on Monday 23 September.
On the 4th, the captain of inbound TUI Dreamliner G-TUIH reported a multiple bird strike immediately above the Runway 23 threshold, seconds before touchdown. Airside Ops confirmed feathers and larger remains on the runway which were uplifted at the first opportunity between landing aircraft. Fortunately it appeared that no damage had been caused to the big jet which is pictured on stand soon after the occurrence.
Renfrewshire Doors Open Days
Renfrewshire held it annual Doors Open Days on Saturday 7 / Sunday 8 September 2019 with venues across the county, many not normally accessible to the general public, allowing access to visitors. These included museums, town halls, schools, parks, fire stations, sports centres, theatres, leisure centres and numerous churches including Inchinnan Parish Church which celebrated its 50th Jubilee last year. Although the building is only 50 years old, it features splendid furnishings and stained glass windows from the previous 1904 All Hallows Church that was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Glasgow Airport. A collection of ancient grave slabs removed from the original site can also been seen outside the present-day church.
The site of the original church, which stands on the west bank of the Black Cart Water and looks right down the airport`s main runway, was also open but only on the Saturday. A steady stream of visitors took advantage of the fine weather with most wishing to see aircraft at close quarters from a unique angle rather than learn about the local history, although there was an information panel with old photographs and a band of friendly volunteers on hand to answer any questions. I went down for an hour in the afternoon to catch the departure of the daily Emirates Airbus A380 and Aeroflot A320-214 VQ-BCM which was due out shortly afterwards. It had arrived with the Russian football team for a Euro 2020 qualifier against Scotland - needles to say the Russkies won!
The weather while I was at All Hallows on Saturday afternoon was excellent and there was a steady stream of landing traffic. Unfortunately any aircraft taxiing towards the 23 threshold to line-up for departure were backlit so flare spoiled some shots.
A bizarre phenomenon was that when they touched down, jet wash from larger planes blasted back right along the length of the runway and crossed the river to buffet against the raised area on which the graveyard and its perimeter wall stands. The blast then whipped round to create a loud whoosh which lasted a few seconds and gave the impression that an unseen airliner was flying overhead!
Following an all too familiar scenario, Russia left Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifying hopes hanging by a thread as the visitors came from behind to win 2-1 at Hampden Park. John McGinn initially gave the home fans hope with an early goal after a dreadful mistake by Russian goalkeeper Guilherme, but the Russians deservedly equalised shortly before half-time through captain Artem Dzyuba. Russia's pressure was incessant and they took the lead when Stephen O'Donnell turned the ball into his own net trying to stop Yuri Zhirkov meeting a low cross. Keeper David Marshall kept Scotland in the game with a string of impressive saves, while Russia hit both the post and crossbar, and the hosts were unable to threaten in the closing stages as they fell six points adrift of the two qualifying spots in Group I.
Named `Trident`, Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214, registration OO-SNA, has been painted in a special Belgian Red Devils Livery to honour the country`s national football team and serves as the team`s `taxi` whenever possible. The aircraft flew in to Glasgow on Saturday 7 September ahead of the Scotland v Belgium Euro 2020 qualifier at Hampden the following Monday and parked up on Stand 38. The strikingly-coloured airliner is pictured above climbing after takeoff from Corfu Airport on Saturday 1 June this year. The fine conditions on the Greek island were a total contrast to the following view taken in the rain at Glasgow on Monday 9 September. Things got even gloomier for our national football team at Hampden that evening when Scotland suffered their joint worst home defeat in 46 years.
After losing against Russia, Steve Clarke 's side were again put to the sword in clinical fashion by the Belgians, currently ranked number one in the world. It was a hugely encouraging opening from Scotland which saw them camped inside Belgian territory for the first eight minutes - but it was all downhill from there after Romelu Lukaku scored in the ninth! First half goals from Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld followed on another night of Hampden misery which ended with a late fourth from Kevin De Bruyne. Scotland now have next to no chance of reaching Euro 2020 via their qualification group. Currently in fifth place, they now trail Russia by nine points and Belgium by 12 with four games to go. The team must now look to next year's play-offs as their best hope of ending a 22-year wait for an appearance at a major finals.
Carpatair Fokker F100 YR-FZA and BAe Avro RJ85 G-JOTR of Jota Aviation both flew in from Rotterdam in connection with the Rangers v Feyenoord Europa League tie on the 19th which the home side won 1-0. With Celtic facing Lazio, Rennes and Romanian side Cluj in Group E and the Gers up against other Group G rivals Porto and BSC Young Boys of Switzerland, there`s a chance of further interesting football related movements appearing this year.
As promised, British Airways pilots began their first-ever strike on Monday 9 September in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. Pilots have rejected a salary increase worth 11.5% over three years, which the airline had put forward in July. Tens of thousands of passengers were told not to go to airports between 00:00 hrs on Monday to 24:00 hrs on Tuesday 10 September after the airline cancelled around 1,700 flights as a result of the action. As well as the disruptions, the airline has faced fierce criticism for the way in which it has handled communications with passengers.
The pilots' union Balpa said BA management's cost-cuts and trivialising of the brand had eroded confidence in the airline, with many staff now harbouring a deep resentment about the airline's direction.
BA chief Alex Cruz countered by saying that investment in the operator had never been so great but the action, which affected around 800 flights each day,may have cost the airline up to £80m. In total, 93 percent of pilots voted to strike on a 90 percent turnout with another strike scheduled for 27 September.
Although all London Heathrow and London Gatwick flights from Glasgow were cancelled due to the industrial action, a couple of BA CityFlyer Embraer commuter jets on the Glasgow - London City Airport service operated as scheduled. This is ERJ-190SR G-LCYU coming in to land mid-morning on Tuesday 10 September.
Following the 48 hour strike, operations quickly resumed on the morning of the 11th when British Airways` Retro-liveried Airbus A319-131 G-EUPJ (below) worked a morning Gatwick - Glasgow Shuttle. On 18 September, BALPA intimated that the action scheduled for Friday 27 September had been cancelled.
A spokesperson for the association stated that the first strikes had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots and it was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalated further and irreparable damage was done to the British Airways brand. BALPA said it could still announce further strike dates if BA refused to hold meaningful new negotiations. The union has a mandate for strikes until January 2020.
A Prickly Situation at Stornoway Airport
About 17:20 hrs on Thursday 19 September, an Inverness-bound passenger flight was delayed when a baby hedgehog began to cross the runway just as the pilot was preparing for take-off. The Loganair Saab 340 was taxiing at Stornoway Airport, on Lewis, when the tiny creature, obviously unfamiliar with the Green Cross Code, made a surprise appearance. The captain brought the aircraft to a halt and waited patiently for two minutes while the hoglet crossed and disappeared into the grass on the far side.
Neil Hughes, Loganair's director of flight operations, said: "The captain safely avoided a prickly situation for the little hedgehog, following procedure until the animal was off the tarmac. Our network extends into some of Scotland's most remote communities so there are quite a few opportunities to see animals in the wild - and we're always conscious to disturb them as little as possible." Pilots operating from Stornoway regularly scan the runway for wildlife, given the airport`s rural location. Although the plane`s 30 passengers were informed of the reason for the delay I was surprised to hear that no one (apart from the hedgehog) nominated the captain for an HWS award!
At the beginning of the month, an off-duty easyJet pilot on his way to Alicante from Manchester with his family stepped in to ensure the flight wasn't cancelled when the original captain was unavailable. easyJet’s operations had been badly affected by French air traffic control issues the previous day when many flights were delayed or cancelled altogether. This left a shortage of pilots and some, due to fly from certain destinations were stranded elsewhere. Not wishing to lose out on his well-earned holiday, the pilot volunteered to captain the flight and became in instant hero with the passengers.
Emirates is implementing its Airbus A380 retirement plan which will see its fleet size, which currently stands at 112 aircraft, peak shortly before declining to around 90-100 aircraft by the mid-2020s. The carrier, which took delivery of its first A380 in 2008, is to cut its orders for the world`s largest passenger aircraft from 162 to 123 in the wake of the manufacturer`s decision to axe the programme in 2020. Two A380s have already been withdrawn from service at Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) and will become a source of spares for the operational fleet. Despite the streamlining, the type is set to remain at the forefront of the Emirates fleet until at least 2035.
Pictured here is Airbus A380-861 A6-EED taking-off on 7 September. The following shot shows a pair of Airside Ops vehicles doing a runway check for debris as soon as the big jet became airborne.
Please bear in mind that all my images are subject to copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.
The airliners that visited Glasgow this month in connection with Operation Matterhorn are also included in this section: Getting a mention in September are Boeing 737-9K2(WL) PH-BXO (KLM Skyteam livery), Boeing 737-81D(WL) C-FFPH Sunwing Airlines and Airbus A319-115(CJ) LX-GVV Global Jet Luxembourg (3rd); Airbus A380-861 A6-EOW Emirates (Expo 2020 green livery) and Airbus A320-214 VQ-BCM Aeroflot (arrived with the Russian football team for Euro 2020 qualifier against Scotland at Hampden) (4th); Boeing 737-9K2 PH-BXO KLM (Skyteam livery) returned (5th); A380-861 A6-EOB Emirates (Expo 2020 orange) (6th); Airbus A320-214 OO-SNA Brussels Airlines (Red Devils Livery) (7th); Airbus A320-251N G-UZHP (f/v) easyJet, A320-214 OO-SNA Brussels Airlines (Red Devils) returned, plus Boeing 737-8JP(WL) EI-FHS Norwegian Air International diverted in from Edinburgh (9th); Fokker F100 YR-FKB Carpatair (10th)...
Airbus A380-861 A6-EOB Emirates (Expo 2020 orange livery) (12th); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENM Emirates (Expo 2020 orange livery) (13th); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENI Emirates (Expo 2020 blue) (14th); A380-861 A6-EEA Emirates (Expo 2020 orange) (15th); A380-861 A6-EOM Emirates (United for Wildlife livery) (17th); Fokker F100 YR-FZA Carpatair and BAe Avro RJ85 G-JOTR Jota Aviation (both flew in from Rotterdam in connection with the Rangers v Feyenoord Europa League tie on the 19th (18th)...
A380-861 A6-EON Emirates (Expo 2020 green) and BAe 146-400 G-SMLA Jota Aviation (19th); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EPB Emirates (Expo 2020 blue) and Fokker 100 YR-FKB Carpatair (20th); Embraer ERJ-195LR I-ADJK Air Dolomiti (21st); Airbus A318-112(CJ) Elite A6-CAS Constellation Aviation (22nd); Boeing 767 EC-LZO Privilege Style and Boeing 737-8Q8(WL) N739MA of Miami Air International (23rd); A380-861 A6-EOK Emirates (Expo 2020 green), Airbus A340-313 9H-SOL Hi Fly Malta, Boeing 737-81D C-GNCH Sunwing Airlines and Embraer E190-E2 LN-WEC Widerøe (24th); Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EPK Emirates (Expo 2020 blue), Airbus A321-231 TC-ATH AtlasGlobal and Airbus A320-232 TC-FHG Freebird Airlines (25th)...
A380-861 A6-EOC Emirates (Expo 2020 blue), Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENB Emirates (Expo 2020 green), Boeing 767-336(ER) N705KW Eastern Airlines (f/v), Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-FIU Icelandair (Aurora Borealis livery) and Airbus A319-131 G-EUPJ British Airways (BEA retro livery) (26th); Airbus A380-841 9H-MIP (f/v) Hi Fly Malta (Save the Coral Reefs Livery), A330-343 CS-TRH (ex EC-KCP) Orbest Air, McDonnell Douglas MD-83 OY-RUE Danish Air Transport, Dornier 328-310 JET D-BSUN Sun-Air and BAe 146-200 G-SMLA Jota Aviation (27th)...
Airbus A330-203 TC-AGD AtlasGlobal from Antalya, Turkey, and Boeing 757-224(WL) N14102, one of two ‘Her Art Here’ United Airlines` 757s repainted in special liveries created by women artists. N14102 wears a design by New Jersey native Corinne Antonelli. The other airliner sports a California design by Tsungwei Moo and although I never managed a shot of N14102 on this occasion, hopefully both planes will make future appearances at Glasgow in the not-too distant future (28th); Boeing 767-336(ER) N703KW Eastern Airlines, Boeing 737-8KS N758MA Miami Air International, Airbus A319-114 D-AILU Lufthansa (Lu Sticker) and Embraer ERJ-190STD PH-EZX KLM (SkyTeam Livery) (29th); Airbus A320-214 TS-INQ Nouvelair Tunisie from Enfidha and A320-214 CS-TRO White Airways from Reus, Spain. Boeing 737-46N LZ-EBA of Electra Airways flew up from Gatwick (30th).
Icelandair`s strikingly-coloured airliners always turn heads when they appear, although they`ve all visited Glasgow numerous times over the years. This is Boeing 757-256(WL) TF-FIU in the carrier`s Aurora Borealis livery departing on the afternoon of 26 September. It may be some time before Icelandair`s three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft return to operate the Keflavik - Glasgow service as the type remains grounded worldwide.
Airbus A319-115(CJ) LX-GVV of Global Jet Luxembourg arrived on Tuesday 3 September and remained on Stand 40 until the 5th.
Another VIP-configured Airbus arrived on Sunday 22 September in the shape of A318-112(CJ) Elite A6-CAS which is operated by Constellation Aviation.
There were several visits by Emirates Expo 2020 liveried airliners this month including A380-861 A6-EOC which is seen here on the 26th, loading up with cargo shortly before the return flight to Dubai. Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-ENB in the green scheme appeared that evening.
These shots show A380-861 A6-EOH taking-off on the return flight to Dubai on Friday 27 September.
Below: I`ll finish the Airliners section with a shot of Airbus A380-861 A6-EOI which worked the last scheduled flight of the type`s inaugural year at Glasgow. It left here around an hour late due to the knock-on effect after a delay departing Dubai. Now, it`s a pair of Boeing Triple-sevens each day over the winter until the A380 service resumes in early May 2020.
All quiet on the turboprop front this month with no unusual visitors whatsoever.
Unfortunately the anticipated influx of biz-jets connected with the 2019 Solheim Cup, held at Gleneagles over 13 -16 September, didn`t materialise. Promoted as The Biggest Event In Women`s Golf, the tournament pits teams comprising the top US and European professional female golfers against one another. It`s named after the Norwegian-American golf club manufacturer Karsten Solheim who was a driving force behind its creation with the inaugural tournament held in 1990.
Glasgow International had signed up to become one of the Cup`s main sponsors and many of the 100,000 estimated spectators passed through the airport. As a previous Ryder Cup (the equivalent men's event), held at the same venue in September 2014, attracted numerous Gulfstreams and other high-end `taxis`, many of which parked up here (above), with the golfers, their families and support teams being helicoptered to the course, it had been hoped that these scenes would be repeated. As it turned out there was very little corporate traffic at Glasgow during the relevant period and I don`t know if any of the few biz-jets that did appear were connected to the competition in any way. Dundee, Leuchars or even Edinburgh, all much closer to Gleneagles may have been used for long-term parking on this occasion.
Good news regarding the golf though - against the odds, Europe battled on to achieve their first win since 2013, and only their sixth victory in the 16 encounters that have been held since the competition began. Europe led 4.5 - 3.5 at the end of the matches on Friday's opening day, but the teams were tied 8-8 at the end of play on Saturday. On Sunday, the USA won five and halved one of the first nine singles matches to lead 13.5 - 11.5 which left them increasingly confident of attaining the 14 points needed to retain the trophy. But Europe won the final three matches to overhaul the visitors, with Norway's Suzann Pettersen sinking a six-foot putt on the 18th green for a 1-up victory over Marina Alex. Final score: Europe 14.5 - USA 13.5, much to the crowd`s delight. The official website has more information and a selection of photos taken during the event: www.solheimcup2019.com.
August`s corporate visitors staying over into this month were Meixcan-registered Gulfstream V XA-FEM (above) which had been parked on the north-side for a while. Global Express N980CC was parked on Area R, while Area Juliet hosted Citation Mustangs G-FFFC and PH-TXA, plus Citation-ISP N501NZ which left on the 1st but returned later that day.
September`s first corporate visitor was Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy 650 D-AHOI Air Hamburg (1st); Cessna Citation Excel OK-SLX (2nd); Gulfstream IV-SP N91JS and Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign D-CMDH (3rd); Gulfstream G650ER N6CP, Challenger 604 N777J, Learjet 60XR D-CURE Aero-Dienst and Citation Excel LX-VMF Luxaviation (4th); Citation Excel CS-DXF and Embraer Phenom 300 G-JMBO (plus other dates) (5th); Embraer EMB-135BJ Legacy 650 D-AERO Air Hamburg, Challenger 350 VP-CPF and Citation Excel G-OJER (6th); 680A Citation Latitude CS-LTD (7th); Gulfstream G450 HZ-SK3, Dassault Falcon 900LX T7-DGS and Citation Excel CS-DXF again (8th); Embraer Legacy 650 G-SUGR and Cessna CitationJet 3 N988MM (9th); Gulfstream G100 OE-GBE Tyrol Air Ambulance, Raytheon Hawker 400XP G-SKBD, plus Cessna Citation Excels D-CXLS Air Hamburg and CS-DXY NetJets Europe (10th); Gulfstream GV-SP N168NJ (11th)...
Above: An Expo 2020 Airbus A380 makes a colourful backdrop for Air Hamburg Citation XLS+ D-CAHO which was relocating to Area Juliet after it dropped its passengers at the terminal on Thursday 12 September. This month`s other corporate visitors continued with Gulfstream GV-SP N688CB, Eclipse Aviation 500 2-JSEG and Citation Excel CS-DXF, all also on (12th); Citation Latitude CS-LAU, Honda HA-420 N77VA, Hawker 900XP N80J and Cessna Citation M2 N979TX Textron Aviation (13th); Citation Latitude CS-LTH and Embraer Phenom 300 CS-PHI (15th); Embraer Legacy 450 D-BFIL Atlas Air Service, Cessna Citation X D-BEEP AirX and Dassault Falcon 2000EX CS-DLM (16th); Gulfstream IV N156WJ, Gulfstream G100 OE-GKW, Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign N492CA, Citation XLS CS-EJA and Raytheon Hawker 400XP G-SKBD (17th); Learjet 35A D-CTRI Air Alliance Express and Raytheon Hawker 400XP SP-TTA (18th)...
The last batch of September`s biz-jets comprised Bombardier Global 6000 9H-VJF VistaJet, CitationJet CJ4 D-CKNA and Citation Latitude CS-LTC (19th); Dassault Falcon 900EX C-FXXU (20th); Citation Latitude CS-LTH, plus Learjet 35As D-CFIV and D-CCCB (21st); CitationJet CJ2 D-IBJJ Air Hamburg and Learjet 45 D-CSOS (23rd); Challenger 605 C-GFAP and Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign N7777B (24th); Citation Excel G-SIRS and Citation Mustang G-FFFC (25th); Bombardier Global 6000 9H-VJL and Challenger 350 9H-VCE, both VistaJet, Gulfstream G550 M-IPHS and Hawker Beechcraft 750 9H-BSA (26th); Hawker Beechjet 400XP SP-TAT, plus Citation Mustang G-FFFC returned (27th); Bombardier Challenger 850 9H-ILB VistaJet, Learjet 31A D-CURT and Citation Excel CS-DXO (28th); Challenger 350 CS-CHB and Cessna Citation CJ2+ G-TWOP (29th); VistaJet Challenger 350 9H-VCA, plus the company`s Challenger 850 9H-ILB returned. Additional arrivals were Citation Sovereign D-CARO, Cessna CitationJet CJ1 N525GC, Hawker Beechcraft 750 9H-BSA again, and Phenom 300 CS-PHM (30th).
Below: Eclipse 500 2-JSEG is operated by Channel Jets based at Guernsey Airport. Eclipse 500 is a marketing name for the Eclipse Aerospace EA500, a small six-seat American business jet originally manufactured by Eclipse Aviation and later upgraded and sold by Eclipse Aerospace. The Eclipse 500 became the first of a new class of Very Light Jets when it was delivered in late 2006. The aircraft is powered by two lightweight Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines in aft fuselage-mounted nacelles.
Production of the Eclipse 500 was halted in October 2008 due to lack of funding and the company declared itself bankrupt on 25 November 2008. Following liquidation soon after, Eclipse Aerospace was confirmed as the new owner of the assets from the former Eclipse Aviation and opened for business on 1 September 2009. In October 2011 Eclipse Aerospace announced a new version of the aircraft, the Eclipse 550, which ended production of the 500, with deliveries starting in 2013. In April 2015 Eclipse Aerospace was merged with Kestrel Aircraft to form One Aviation.
Above: Embraer Legacy 650 G-SUGR of Air Charter Scotland pictured on Tuesday 10 September 2019. On 27 September, Canadian-registered Falcon 900EX C-FXXU, an arrival from the 20th, re-positioned to join Challenger 605 C-GFAP on Area Juliet as part of the stand changes to accommodate the pending arrival of the Hi Fly Airbus A380.
It was confirmed this month that a four-year contract has been signed with Babcock for the operation of a new air ambulance based at Aberdeen International Airport. Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) Eurocopter EC135 helicopter, call-sign `Heli-Med 79`, will join a stablemate already operating out of Perth Airport and should be flying from its new base sometime in early 2020. The charity has operated an air ambulance since 2013 alongside two funded by the Scottish government. It`s hoped that the new Aberdeen service could help save scores of lives. EC135T1 G-SCAA called in at Glasgow on the afternoon of Thursday 12 September and is seen here preparing to lift-off from the Gama apron.
Staying over from late August were King Air 350 G-SRBM and King Air 200 N416MM. GA visitors during September included King Air 200 M-CDMS and Sikorsky S-92A G-MCGL HM Coastguard (2nd); SOCATA TBM-940 N940TB, King Air 200 G-DXTR and Sikorsky S-92A G-MCGD HM Coastguard (3rd); SOCATA TBM-700B F-HBGB and King Air 200 G-NIAA (4th); Pilatus PC-12 VP-CPX (5th); King Air 200s G-IASA and M-CDMS (6th); Cessna F406 Caravan II G-RVLY (7th); Pilatus PC-12 OO-JWB (9th); Eurocopter AS.355-F1 G-BPRJ (right), using a `Pipeline` call-sign, crossed over the `23` climb out en route to Cumbernauld via the Kingston Bridge on 10 September.
Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS, King Air 90GTi G-MOSJ, and Eurocopter EC135-T2+ G-SCAA Scotland Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) (12th); SOCATA TBM-950 N95MA, King Air 200 M-CDBM and Diamond DA42 Twin Star G-SUEI (13th); Airbus Helicopters EC145T2 G-EMSS (14th); Piper PA-46R Malibu G-EXPO, plus AgustaWestland AW189s G-MCGM and G-MCGX both HM Coastguard (15th); King Air 200 M-CDJC (16th); Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS and Cirrus SR-22 N78MC (17th); Cessna 421B Golden Eagle G-SVIP, Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II G-RVLY, King Air 200s G-IASB and G-RAFL plus Sikorsky S-92A G-MCGL HM Coastguard (18th); Airbus H155B1 G-HOTB Multiflight Aviation (19th); King Air 200 M-CDBM (20th)...
This September`s GA movements concluded with King Air 200 G-FLYK and Diamond DA42-NG Twin Star G-HAZA (21st); Pilatus PC-12 2-DARE and Diamond DA42 Twin Star G-DJET (24th); King Air 200s G-FLYK and G-FLYW (25th); Pilatus PC-12 N359ST (26th); BN-2A Islander G-CZNE (28th); Pilatus PC-12 s LX-JFR and N359ST returned, plus Sikorsky S-76 G-XXEB of the Queen's Helicopter Flight (29th); BN-2 G-CZNE again, Pilatus PC-12 M-YBLS, King Air 200 M-CDMS and Aerospatiale AS355F Ecureuil 2 G-BPRJ. AgustaWestland 189 G-MCGM of HM Coastguard did a go-around of Runway 23 in the afternoon (30th).
After an engineer made a few adjustments, Scottish Ambulance King Air 200 G-SASC carried out engine runs on the Gama apron on September 13.
This Babcock Airbus Helicopter H145, pictured here on Monday 16 September, is used as a spare to cover for various UK air ambulance choppers during scheduled maintenance periods. G-EMSS arrived on Saturday 14th and remained with the Scottish Ambulance Service at Glasgow for several days.
Above: Scottish Ambulance chopper G-SASN prepares for its next mission on the afternoon of 25 September.
Above: US-registered Cirrus SR-22 N78MC, an arrival from the 17th, is pictured here under wraps the following morning. Two resident Glasgow `lights` are shown below, both snapped over at the Flying Club on Sunday 22 September. Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II G-BOYI has been here for some time but Swedish-registered PA-28R-201 Arrow 3 SE-GVV arrived on 26 June and will presumably be transferred to the UK register at some point.
BN-2A Islander departed via Runway 05 on Sunday 29 September after an overnight stop.
Prestwick-based HM Coastguard AgustaWestland 189 G-MCGM did a go-around of Runway 23 the following afternoon, just before the runway direction was changed. These and the organisation`s larger Sikorsky S-92As often call in at Glasgow Airport as well as carrying out patient transfers from / to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Govan, or the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank. Next, a view of Area Juliet shortly before the chopper overflew...
The second of this year`s Joint Warrior military exercises will take place next month so Glasgow may see some military movements, but there were only a couple this month. US Army C-26B Metroliner 91-00507, call-sign `PAT 171` (above) was a stopover from August having arrived on the 28th. It remained on the ground at Glasgow for a week. Another US Army C-26B, serial number 91-00509, call-sign `PAT 173` (not photographed) arrived and departed on Friday 13 September. The only other military aircraft to appear were a pair of RAF UAS (University Air Squadron) trainers, Grob G.115E Tutors G-BYWI and G-BYWS which flew in on the 25th.
At 14:40 hrs on the afternoon of Saturday 7 September, while I was at the old churchyard, a pair of Boeing AH-64 Apache gunships overflew the airport from west to east. They remained quite high and even a long telephoto lens was insufficient to enable identification. I couldn`t even make out whether they were British or US Army machines.
The end may be near for the RAF`s BAe 146 transports. Although none of the RAF`s four BAe 146s called in at Glasgow Airport this month they have made numerous visits over the years. BAe 146-200QC CC.2 ZE708 (below) arrived late morning on Tuesday 8 January making it the airport`s first military visitor of 2019. Exclusively operated out of RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the type is primarily tasked in the Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) role. Two 146 variants are currently in use, the VIP-configured CC.Mk 2 and the Quick Change (QC) C.Mk 3, which can be rapidly converted to serve as either a passenger or cargo aircraft.
The CC2’s primary function is the transport of senior government ministers and Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel and, most famously, senior members of the Royal Family, although this work represents only a small fraction of 32(TR) Sqn’s tasking. If required, the 146’s defensive aids suite (DAS) also offers government ministers and high-ranking military leaders protection during visits overseas where a risk to security is perceived. Outside VIP work, the CC.Mk 2 has an operational role in-theatre, providing essential support to military commanders by moving personnel and smaller freight items.
It has now been revealed that the RAF is looking to sell off its BAe146 fleet, the news breaking after the type was listed in a brochure at a recent Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) industry event. Only last year, BAE Systems was awarded a four-year £42 million contract from the Ministry of Defence for the support of the four aircraft. The contract commenced on March 1, 2018 and runs until 2022.
Right: British Aerospace 146-100-CC.2 ZE700 is pictured about to depart Glasgow on Friday 15 March this year.
The BAe146 replacement would be a refitted Airbus A330 Voyager usually tasked with flying senior ministers to global events and summits.
This aircraft was converted at a cost of about £10m, in order to save about £775,000 per year as the plane will be cheaper than chartering flights, delivering significant savings for the taxpayer, according to the MoD. Official flights using either Royal Squadron BAE 146 aircraft or long haul charter jets cost on average £6,700 per flying hour while using a Voyager would cost £2,000. The Voyager is available for refuelling when not in use as a personnel transport. One of these aircraft, in this case operated in conjunction with the RAF, is Air Tanker`s A330-243 Voyager G-VYGJ (f/v) (below) which called in briefly on Wednesday 20 March 2019 during a flight between Sal, Cape Verde, and Brize Norton.
Construction & Development
Work continues in earnest to transform the fields on the east side of Abbotsinch Road and layout the new road network which will run through the new business development area. The airport perimeter will also be extended which will result in Abbotsinch Rd itself being realigned. The shots in the above slideshow were taken during the first part of September.
The cycleway is set to be upgraded which is long overdue as it is badly fragmented in and around the environs of the airport and poorly signed. It will run along what was the front garden of this block of houses immediately south of the Signature Aviation offices. Trees and shrubs along this badly overgrown stretch have now been cleared to facilitate the new route.
At first glance it looks as though the building is totally derelict but one end is still occupied by the Glasgow Airport Enthusiasts Club which, I believe has been running since the airport opened in 1966. If there are no plans to demolish the structure, then perhaps a makeover is planned, otherwise it would detract from the new development.
This slideshow features shots taken at various dates during the second half of the month beginning on Friday 13 September.
The foundations of the old house on the south side of the A8 between the entrance lane to All Hallows graveyard and the `23` Runway lights are now being dug up. Progress had been halted until an archaeological examination took place but it seems that there was nothing found that would hinder the redevelopment at this spot. Many of the trees and stone wall will likely disappear in the not too distant future.
A new pedestrian / cycle bridge over the Black Cart is planned with the cycle route paralleling the section of road in the above views. The new river crossing will be built alongside the existing stone bridge and the cycleway will eventually connect with Renfrew and a new bridge spanning the River Clyde. The following shots show Emirates A380-861 on short finals on Wednesday 25 September...
Below: Along at Bishopton, the new M8 Motorway access point, Junction 29A, is steadily taking shape with westbound and eastbound slips from the A8 nearing completion. The A8 Greenock Road which runs over the motorway and through Bishopton was closed for several weeks east of the village to facilitate the ongoing construction operations and although not fully opened to traffic yet, two large roundabouts are now in place. The upgrades are being carried out to ease traffic congestion as the large-scale housing development known as Dargavel Village, on the old Royal Ordnance Factory site continues to grow.
Dargavel Village gets its name from Dargavel House, a Grade B listed ’Tower House’ building situated within the grounds of the complex and dating back to 1514. The ongoing privately-funded regeneration project is one of the UK’s largest and when complete in 2034, it will be home to 4,000 new houses, a business park, new primary school, community centre, retail and commercial units, leisure facilities and a Community Woodland Park. Around 1,000 homes are already in place.
After it emerged that some American military personnel have been staying at one of President Donald Trump's Scottish golf resorts, the US Air Force (USAF) has ordered a review of its guidance on overnight accommodation for flight crews. There has been a marked increase in the number of US military flights stopping at Prestwick Airport, near the resort, since he took office. A US congressional committee is investigating Mr Trump for a potential conflict of interest over the matter. The debt-ridden airport, south of Glasgow, approximately 20 miles (30 km) north of Trump Turnberry, has been fighting off closure but it is said to be integral to the Trump business, which is also loss-making.
Air Force chiefs have directed Air Mobility Command (AMC), which oversees all Air Force transport worldwide to "review all guidance pertaining to selection of airports and lodging accommodations during international travel". The US Air Force said that its crews had adhered to procedure at all times, but said "lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable".
Brig. Gen. Edward W. Thomas Jr. the USAF`s Director of Public Affairs, explained that the increased use of Prestwick Airport over the last four years is due to a number of key factors, including longer operating hours and standardisation of routing locations. He added, "Between 2015 and 2019, AMC Total Force aircraft stopped at Prestwick a total of 936 times, 659 of which were overnight stays. This includes 95 stops (40 overnights) in 2015, 145 (75 overnights) in 2016, 180 (116 overnights) in 2017, 257 (208 overnights) in 2018 and 220 overnight stays out of a total of 259 stops between January and August 2019."
The Total Force consists of the people who make up the Air Force. It is defined as “the. US Air Force organisations, units, and individuals that provide the capabilities to support the Department of Defence in implementing the national security strategy." The media latched onto the fact that the crew of a USAF Boeing C-17 Globemaster military transport aircraft stayed at Trump Turnberry when it stopped at Prestwick en route to Kuwait earlier this year. Not exactly an earth-shattering scoop!
The Air Force hasn`t said how many of its staff have stayed at the President's resort but Democrats and other critics in America argue such stays might enrich the president at the expense of US taxpayers. The House Oversight and Reform Committee says expenditure at Prestwick Airport has "increased substantially" since Mr Trump came into office.
The committee's accusations are detailed in a letter to the Pentagon. Citing Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) records, it said the US military had made 629 fuel purchase orders at the airport, totalling $11m (£9m), since October 2017. It also alleges that certain military personnel have been offered "cut-price rooms" and free rounds of golf at the Trump Turnberry resort. Mr Trump was quick to respond in a Tweet, maintaining he didn`t know anything about the matter. Glasgow Prestwick airport said: "Like all airports, we provide a full handling service for customers and routinely arrange overnight accommodation for visiting aircrew when requested. We use over a dozen local hotels, including Trump Turnberry, which accounts for a small percentage of the total hotel bookings we make. It's important to note that we do not pay for aircrew accommodation and take no commission from Trump Turnberry for any bookings made on behalf of our customers. All aircrew landing at Glasgow Prestwick settle their bills directly with the hotels involved and, contrary to some claims we have seen, we do not offer free rounds of golf at Trump Turnberry for any aircrew."
Trump`s world famous Turnberry Golf Course on the South Ayrshire coast lies on the site of what was originally a Royal Flying Corps aerodrome. During the Great War aircrew including Americans, Australians and New Zealanders were trained in aerial gunnery here and at nearby Heathfield which was located close to the present-day Prestwick Airport. Turnberry aerodrome became active in 1917 and closed the following year, just after hostilities ended. The Turnberry Hotel adjacent to the airfield was used as a hospital for the wounded during the conflict.
The Turnberry war memorial which listed the names of all those lost between 1917 and 1918 was erected in 1923. In November 1990, four new sections were added to the base to record the names of those who died at Turnberry during World War 2. Turnberry lighthouse can be seen right of centre in the above view. It was built by David and Thomas Stevenson, being one of the 29 that they built together between 1854 and 1878. It became operational in 1873 and was manned until 1986 when it was fully automated. This lighthouse has since been sold to the Trump Turnberry golf course. The fragmentary ruins of Turnberry Castle stand on the adjacent promontory. This is one of the oldest castles in Scotland and has strong connections with Robert the Bruce.
Early in the Second World War RAF Turnberry was redeveloped and tarmac runways were laid to accommodate the large numbers of aircraft due to be based there. A variety of types including Beauforts, Beaufighters, Hampdens, Ventures and Hudsons flew from Turnberry. Air Sea Rescue and Torpedo Bombing training was also carried out here and the Coastal Command Flying Instructors School moved here during the latter stages of the war. At its height there were thought to have been around 1,200 personnel stationed at Turnberry.
Pictured here are just a few of the panels listing Turnberry Airfield`s War Dead. There is at least one female recorded on the memorial, a nursing Sister.
The above images from the Imperial War Museum archives show a general view of Turnberry Aviation Camp, looking north-west, and Major F. Steel RAF, the Commanding Officer of the Turnberry Aviation Field, with a group of NCOs. Both photos were taken on 5 February 1919, just a few month after the 1918 Armistice, by an official US photographer so presumably at least some of these airmen are American.
Above left: Beaufort Mark II AW245 awaiting the installation of its armament at Filton, Bristol, shortly after completion at Bristol Aeroplane Company works. AW245 was one of the first Mark IIs to serve with the RAF and was initially allocated to No. 217 Squadron RAF in November 1941. It later served with No. 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Turnberry until 1945. The other shot shows Hudson Mark V AM562`X` of the same unit in flight over the South Ayrshire coast. A Hudson IIIA, the only Hudson in the UK, is on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon, however, several preserved examples can be found in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Substantial remains of Hudson Mk.III, Serial Number T9432 (ZS-B) of 233 Sqn Royal Air Force, which was based with Coastal Command at Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, can be found high up on Ben Lui near Tyndrum. The aircraft struck the southeast side of the mountain in bad weather, close to the snow-covered summit in April 1941. The arrow in the above view which was taken from Beinn Dorain marks the approximate location of the impact site.
A dedicated page has more information and photographs: Lockheed Hudson Wreck on Ben Lui.
The control tower at Turnberry was purchased by a private individual who turned it into a luxury home. The remaining serviceable section of runway, running southwest to northeast, was reopened during the 1960s to serve as a private landing strip and still sees regular use during the annual Open Golf Tournament held on the Turnberry course.
(Black & white aerial images of RAF Turnberry courtesy of Maybole.org which has further information on the history of the airfield and surrounding area).
Below: A modern-day view of the main runway at the old RAF Turnberry aerodrome...