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Free airport! Get your free commercial airport!

Posting in Government

Please will somebody take me? Glasgow Prestwick Airport looks like a needy puppy in the pound. At least it has its old hound dog, Elvis Presley.

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Have you always wanted to own a commercial airport, but could never afford it? Well, there's a sizable one in Scotland that could be yours for the asking. And possibly a smaller one down south, in England too.

The owners of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Scotland's second largest by size and fourth busiest, may give it away gratis, according to the BBC.

New Zealand-based Infratil has been trying to sell the unprofitable operation since March, to no avail. It has written down the combined value of Prestwick and another airport it's offloading - in Kent, England -  to £11 million ($17.6 million).

A hunk a hunk of burning floor. The Elvis plaque at Prestwick.

Infratil is currently negotiating a possible transaction with the Scottish government for the Glasgow property.

"But in a statement on its website, the company said it did not expect any transaction to 'give rise to material proceeds,' " noted the BBC, interpreting that as a possible "give away for nothing."

Infratil issued the same outlook for the Manston Kent Airport, so perhaps that one could be yours too.

Get in fast. The Scottish government hopes to wrap up the acquisition of its Glasgow freebie by Nov. 20.

Prestwick is Glasgow's secondary airport. It's a hub for Ryanair, the Dublin-based budget airline that passengers love to hate.

It's also jumping with Elvis Presley lore, as it is reputed to be the only place the music legend ever set a toe in the U.K., when a U.S. military plane hauling Sergeant Presley back to base in Germany touched down to refuel in 1960. For that profound act of dedication, Prestwick inaugurated an Elvis Presley bar and lounge in 2006, complete with a Hollywood star styled marker.

Kent's Manston, which runs flights to Holland,  has its own claim to fame from popular culture: It doubled as a North Korean airbase in the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day.

So come one, come all and get in on the bidding - the free bidding - to help these airports live another day.

Photo of Prestwick Airport is from Raymond Okonski via Wikimedia. Photo of Elvis plaque is from Lis Ferla via Flickr.

— By on October 10, 2013, 8:38 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure