Harvie challenges FM to take responsibility for publicly-owned Prestwick airport over US military use

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today (8 Feb) challenged the First Minister to take responsibility for publicly-owned Prestwick airport after it emerged that it is being used by the US military to service active military operations.

An investigation by the Guardian has found that in 2015 Transport Scotland officials lobbied ministers to meet US Air Force commanders and the Trump Organisation to promote Prestwick, yet in 2016 the First Minister told Patrick Harvie that the government had had no discussions on the relationship between the airport and Trump.

Following today's exchange at First Minister's Questions, Patrick said:

“The ever-deepening ties between this publicly-owned company and the toxic Trump brand are problematic enough, but the Guardian has now demonstrated beyond doubt that Prestwick relies on payments from the US Air Force and other foreign military forces, specifically payments for refuelling support aircraft running active combat missions. It’s time for full disclosure from the Scottish Government, without the usual redactions holding back information.”

"Which bombing raids have relied on the support of this Scottish Government asset? Are we secretly facilitating US operations in Syria, which come at an enormous human cost? In March 2017 US planes killed at least 84 people, including 30 children, in strikes on and around Taqba. Does the First Minister know whether those raids relied on Scottish Government-owned infrastructure?

"The sight of MSPs laughing at this situation during FMQs today was disgraceful, given the human cost of these operations. As for the future of Prestwick, we can’t allow a failing business to be propped up by simply servicing the US military or promoting the toxic Trump brand. The moral price being paid is simply unacceptable."


Scottish government criticised over US military use of airport (Guardian, 7 Feb 18)

In February 2016, Patrick Harvie questioned the First Minister over sustained business links between publicly-owned Prestwick airport and Donald Trump

"The Scottish Government has had no discussions on the relationship between the airport and the Trump Organization." Nicola Sturgeon to Patrick Harvie, February 2016