Prestwick Aerospace makes move to bolster its position as the home of aviation, aerospace and space sector in Scotland

Glasgow Prestwick Airport welcomes new Aerospace Development Manager

Tuesday 16 May, 16:08 Europe/London

Michael O'Brien


Michael O’Brien, a highly experienced aerospace industry professional, has joined the Business Development Team at Glasgow Prestwick Airport thanks to funding from Scottish Enterprise and South Ayrshire Council.

With an excess of 20 years working in manufacturing, aviation and aerospace, his specialisms include supply chain management, project management, business analysis and logistics.

Most recently, Michael worked in Canada for Safran Landing Systems project managing the supplier industrialisation process for key suppliers to the Bombardier Global 7000 and Boeing 787 programmes.


Michael’s new role, based at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, is all about working with the Prestwick Aerospace Partnership to create an environment that promotes, supports and encourages growth across the Prestwick Aerospace Campus.


Welcoming Michael to the team, Ron Smith, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Chief Executive Officer, commented:


“Glasgow Prestwick Airport has a long history of being at the heart of the United Kingdom’s aerospace manufacturing industry. This brought, and continues to bring growth by virtue of having an airfield here and one that has fantastic facilities and favourable conditions.

“We want to play an active role in keeping this industry and these highly skilled roles in the Ayrshire area and we would like to add even more jobs through working collaboratively across the campus to give us a competitive advantage in this global market place.


“I am delighted to be welcoming Michael to the team to help bring focus and drive to the development of a Prestwick Aerospace Campus approach.


“I am grateful to our partners at Scottish Enterprise and South Ayrshire Council for funding this post. It is advantageous to have this role based at the airport so that the project can be led by industry for industry.”


Michael will work with the Prestwick Aerospace partners and the companies already based at Prestwick Aerospace to identify further partnership working opportunities to achieve shared goals. This will include joint promotion, purchasing and infrastructure planning for the campus.


The partners will also look outward to attract more aerospace companies and ancillary services to base themselves at the Prestwick Aerospace Campus.


This body of work links in with Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s efforts to become the UK and Europe’s first spaceport, which is a key project in the aerospace and space workstream within the ambitious Ayrshire Growth Deal proposals being progressed by public and private sector partners across Ayrshire.


Christopher McLean, Aerospace Specialist for Scottish Enterprise, said:

“Aerospace is one of Scotland’s key economic sectors, with a significant presence at Prestwick. We’re pleased to collaborate with Glasgow Prestwick Airport and South Ayrshire Council in creating this new role which will enhance the support to the local companies. Michael brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the role and we look forward to working with him.”

Eileen Howat, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This exciting and dedicated new role will play an important part in co-ordinating and driving aerospace and space development at Prestwick and I’m very pleased to welcome Michael on board.


“We’re very proud of the successful and thriving aerospace sector we have here in Ayrshire, but we know that we can do more with a targeted approach to attract investment, create jobs and really put our mark on the global market. This will only serve to enhance the fantastic offer we have here in Prestwick and I have no doubt that Michael is up for the challenge.”


Prestwick Aerospace Campus is home to companies including BAE Systems, NATS, UTC, GE, Spirit AeroSystems and Woodward. The campus supports more than 4,000 job roles (both directly and indirectly) – a significant proportion of these are highly-skilled and well-remunerated roles.