EGPK Prestwick Airport

Barry Davidson sent in this print and photo of the original 1935 Civil Tower, a colour shot of the Orangefield Tower and several others inserted further down the post dated between 1942 and 1960




PK0_1a  The Tiger Moths appear to be G-ADWO, G-ADWJ and G-ADWA

EGPK 1941

PK0_1b from Barry Davidson and dated 1941. Still flying the civil air ensign and civil registered aircraft are present,

Prestwick, RAF Volunteer Reserve Flying Centre

PK0_2 from Dave Smith Prestwick, RAF Volunteer Reserve Flying Centre. Blenheim Mk1 K-7557/5



Thanks to Malcolm Hemming for this photo of the original RAF Watch room on the old Orangefield house 1943-62

Prestwick Tower 1944 American visitor in background
In the control tower at Prestwick. The Royal Air Force controllers in the tower had an American visitor at the time of the photograph. White Coastal Command Liberators can be seen in the background. 1944

PK0_4 and from Dave Smith

Prestwick in 1944. An American visitor is in the background and two Coastal Command Liberators can be seen. I note that the windows are angled, quite an innovation at that time even though the Beehive at Gatwick had them in the 1930s. The only other one from WWII in the UK that I know of was Langford Lodge where they even had angled windows on the loos!

Prestwick C-47

PK0_5 from Dave Smith, Prestwick C-47

also from Dave two film showing Transatlantic Air Control and Prestwick tower

Atlantic Air Control and Prestwick

and the 1944 expansion of Prestwick showing some ATC

Prestwick Airport Expansion 1944

Dave quotes from Air Britain’s RAF Training and Support Units….
“Transatlantic Aircraft Control (TAC) – Formed 15.8.1941 in No 44 Group at Powbank Mill, Prestwick to assume control of the local area, being located in the Air Defence HQ; 21.10.41 to Redbrae House; Control of TAC, Approach and Tower handed over to Min of Civil Aviation 1.5.46.”
RAF Prestwick_ Orangefield House 1943-1962PK1

three more photos, this time from Ray Draper

PK tower on orangefield hotel


PK inside Orangefield

PK1b inside the RAF Prestwick watch room above. Looks like a USAAF visitor on the right.

RAF Prestwick 2

PK1bb from Barry Davidson

EGPK3 1942

PK1c 1942


PK1d 1950

PK BD 4 18

PK1e (postcard from Barry Davidson)

Prestwick tower after pre-war fire

PK1f lastly and sadly, Dave Smith sent in this photo of the remains of “the old Orangefield terminal tower” destroyed by fire. However Ray Draper commented that the building more closely resembles the original tower/terminal building.


PK1g from Barry Davidson. SAS Cloudmaster landing. Note GCA radar trucks in the centre of the image.


PK1h EGPK GCA Bill Bain closest to camera photo Heather Bain

On the back it has “Talking Down” an aircraft at Prestwick. In a caravan parked ..of the main runway, this controller is watching on a radar screen the progress of an aircraft landing in fog ad direct … over the radio telephone. This is the Ground Control. “

Part of it unclear. The Picture is Bill Bain and Morris Bennett and was sent to Bill from George Mundell Oct 1967 who found it after the NATCS display at the air show. Georges comment in a letter to Bill “taken in the old federal truck when you had a little more hair than you have now.”

More historic photos came in from Barry Davidson, a set of commemorative postcards, issued by Scottish Aviation, of Prestwick Airport 1935 – 85.

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Pk tower today

PK1g  the new tower

Layout plan of Prestwick Tower  egpk-tower-drawing-1958

EGPK towerPK2

EGPK tower and radar headPK3

EGPK BD 2 21


Scan_20150829 (2)PK4

 EGPK VCR 1978 2PK5


from Tim Marshall

The controller in PK6 is Tony Riome, who worked at Croydon (really!!) in his early years! Alive and well living in Ayrshire (2016)

HUrn tower 5


Scan_20150829 (3)


EGPK VCR 1978 1PK8

on the left is supervisor John Rogers, who was a keen aviation photographer. If anyone has a contact for him he probably has plenty of Prestwick pictures. Jon Wornham

ATSA on far right (sitting) is Mick Land John A Baker


PK8a is this the met observers post? (Barry Davidson)

EGPK aerial view of airport on a busy dayPK9

EGPK apron on a busy dayPK10

MT BD 9 18 (3)

PK10a Air Atlantique’s G-AMHJ in service with the DoT pollution control service with Apron Control in the background.

EGPK1 1960


new BG PK (4)

PK10_2 Viscount G-AMOG

EGPK Approach and approach radar control 1970PK11


egpk appPK12

three photos from Jon Wornham in the late 90s

PK Rad-1m


PK Rad2m


PK Rad-3m



PK12d (via Colin McKeeman)

a series of photos just entitled Prestwick and dated 22nd March 1963

prestwick 22 march 1963 (6)PK13

prestwick 22 march 1963 (5)PK14

prestwick 22 march 1963 (4)PK15

prestwick 22 march 1963 (3)PK16

prestwick 22 march 1963 (2)PK17

prestwick 22 march 1963 (1)PK18


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PK19 by Barry Davidson

26 thoughts on “EGPK Prestwick Airport”

  1. The ‘Blenheim’ K7557 in PK0-2 is actually a rare beast; the Bristol 142 called ‘Britain First’. It was built by Bristol for Lord Rothermere of the Daily Mail as a fast passenger aircraft. It was so successful that the Air Ministry asked for a military version which became the Blenheim.


  2. PK7 is Huntley Ness senior Air Traffic Control Assistant.

    Don Gillham. I think we discussed this elsewhere. The RCAF F104 very tall pilot was Mark Fairley. He was posted to Cold Lake Canada when the Canadians left their Prestwick base


  3. There is a question way above about picture PIK8a. That is the Apron Control Tower (non ATC). It was at the end of the new terminal central finger looking out towards Scottish Aviation (now Spirit Aerosystems) Apron Control can be seen very clearly behind the DC3 in picture 10a


    1. Hello Avril, yes remember your dad well and your mum Karen and you. Dad, Bill Bain died in 2005 and Bill Pavitt, I think the last of the gang attended his funeral. Heather


      1. Oh Heather how lovely to hear from you ! Yes happy memories of our time as kids in Troon and Prestwick. Still have photos of us all. How is Hilora? I remember she wrote to Mum when Dad died . I have not long finished doing an album if Dad’s time in the RAF. Karen is in Edinburgh and I’m in Aberdeenshire. Would be great to have a longer chat away from here?


  4. John – I believe the building shown as PK_1e is same as PK0_1 and the Glasgow Herald image – on the original flying school site, not the Orangefield terminal.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. PK8 shows Matt Waller on what was the APC desk (later to become the GMC desk when the BAe Flying College opened), clearly giving Aidan Trotter some stick on the ADC desk. I thought it was me on the ADC desk when I first saw the photo, but I NEVER, repeat NEVER wore white socks! Happy Days, probably about 1984?
    Mark Howell (EGNX since leaving PK at the end of 1989)


      1. Wow! Hi Hilary, how are you? I’ m sure I remember hearing that you had made you way out to New Zealand some time go and had a couple of kids?


  6. I know that HF R/T communications was moved from Prestwick to Birdlip in August 1952 (per NOTAM 457/1952) but HF W/T lingered on for a few years at Prestwick. Would anybody know when this W/T facility actually ceased at Redbrae?
    [author of “A History of the Birdlip Aeronautical Communication Complex (1940-2015)”]


    1. Hi Colin. I can’t help with the dates but a picture has surfaced here of HMS Wagtail at Heathfield and the HF aerials are clearly visible. I think Wagtail closed in 1946


  7. ….and the old ATC logs still reside in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow for public inspection, having reviewed same on several occasions….great movements!


    1. CHAG engagements usually by ‘Bugle 101’, Captain MacGregor, RCAF.
      The sound of the J79 is unforgettable. “Cross Ailsa Craig FL290 or above…”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I was a Cadet at Prestwick in 1976, the CF104Gs were flown by “Musket 90”, with an unforgettable inflexion in his voice. I forget his name, but he was a very atll man to fly 104s. Ahhh that howl !!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Prestwick ATC

    Worked in the Control Tower Admin under George Mundell then Tom Harrison from Oct 1966 to June 1968. Great times and happy memories.


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