Campbeltown Airport is the only bidder to exceed the UK Government’s minimum runway length of 3,000m.

The astonishing 3,049m strip was constructed during the Cold War as part of a plan for use by naval aircraft and was soon in regular use by the Vulcan bomber force.

It remains one of the longest in Europe today and has already been twice approved for space flight.

Ahead of the launch of the NASA Space Shuttle in 1981, Machrihanish was a certified emergency landing site in Europe, with the runway long enough to welcome the shuttle and get it airborne again.

In 2009, Virgin Galactic named Machrihanish and Campbeltown Airport as one of its top 3 preferred sites, if a UK Spaceport was to be established.

In addition to the main runway, the Southern parallel taxiway is 2,970m in length and could potentially be used as a second runway.