SOUTH Scotland MSP Sharon Dowey has praised a “first class” aircraft maintenance facility at Prestwick Airport which employs more than 50 people.

The Scottish Conservative MSP recently visited Chevron’s aircraft maintenance centre at Prestwick Airport to speak with the staff, find out about the great work they do, and hear about the benefits to the local economy.

There are more than 50 employees on-site, ranging in experience from apprentices to experienced, highly-skilled managers.

The facility is the only third-party aircraft maintenance company in Scotland. It receives contracts from a wide range of aircraft operators.

Kyle Officer, Chevron’s base maintenance manager, gave Sharon Dowey MSP and Graham Simpson MSP a tour of two aircraft that were being serviced in their hangar.

Mr Officer demonstrated the differences between traditional and modern maintenance methods, and explained how state-of-the-art practices can help make them more competitive in the global market.

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Sharon Dowey said: “It was a real pleasure to speak with the staff at the first-class Chevron facility at Prestwick Airport.

“The centre is providing dozens of highly-skilled jobs and fantastic apprenticeship opportunities for young people, which is great news for the local economy.

“They are the only company of their kind in Scotland, so it’s good to have them at Prestwick Airport to maintain its reputation as a top hub in the aero industry.

“The tour was very informative and interesting. We saw first-hand the highly skilled work they do with aircraft, including how they inspect components and the state-of-the-art quality control methods they use.

“It’s wonderful to have a pathway for young people from places like Ayrshire College to excel in this industry locally.”