Councillor Dick Walsh wrote:.....the length of its runway, the longest in the United Kingdom at over 3km.....
It never ceases to amaze me that elected politicians, let alone the leader of the Council, can be so badly informed.
At a length of 10,003 feet, Machrihanish is the longest runway in Scotland (about 200ft longer than Prestwick) however it's not even in the Top 5 in the UK:
1. Heathrow 09L - 12,800ft
2. Heathrow 09R - 12,000ft
3. Gatwick - 10,800ft
4. MOD Boscombe Down - 10,540ft
5. Birmingham - 10,013ft
6. RAF Brize Norton - 10,007ft
I've often heard people say something like "Machrihanish has one of the longest runways in Europe" - the truth is there are actually 120 runways in EU which are over 10,000ft in length, Machrihanish isn't even in the top 100.
Finally, just for a wee bit of 'fun', the longest (paved) runway in the world is currently in China serving Qamdo. Due to its altitude it has has a length of over 18,000ft. To put that into perspective, if Machrihanish was extended to the same length, the new runway would now finish at James McLean's house ....... at the end of Witchburn Road
I do hope Machrihanish is successful in its bid - I just wish Councillors would get their facts right.