Thousands sign petition to rename airport near Trump’s Turnberry golf course after Joe Biden

Prestwick Airport rebranding receives notable backing after Scottish golf course scrubbed off Open roster

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JUNE 25:  Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trump arrives at Trump International Golf Links on June 25, 2016 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The US presidential hopeful was in Scotland for the reopening of the refurbished Open venue golf resort Trump Turnberry which has undergone an eight month refurbishment as part of an investment thought to be worth in the region of two hundred million pounds.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Thousands of people signed a petition to rename the airport next to one of Donald Trump's luxury UK golf courses Joe Biden International.

The former US president owns the five-star, 323-hectare Turnberry resort on Scotland's west coast next to Glasgow's Prestwick Airport.

Almost 8,000 residents signed an online petition to change the airport's name.

Last week it was announced that the Open Championship would not be staged at Turnberry for the "foreseeable future" after the deaths of five people in the attack on the US Capitol building.

The online petition was launched by James Watt, who is part of the team behind beer company BrewDog.

"Donald Trump always flies into Glasgow Prestwick Airport," he said. "We believe this airport should be renamed Joe Biden International."

The petition was started after it was rumoured Mr Trump might fly to his Scottish resort to avoid Mr Biden's inauguration as president.

However, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, last week said that golf was not an essential reason to visit the nation, which is presently in lockdown.

"We are not allowing people to come into Scotland without an essential purpose right now, and that would apply to him just as it applies to anybody else," she said. "Coming to play golf is not what I consider to be an essential purpose."

The airport is 29 kilometres from Mr Trump's resort and is used by him when he visits the area.

He bought the renowned Turnberry Hotel and adjoining golf course in 2014, two years before his election victory.

The Open Championship – the only one of golf's four majors played outside the US – has not been played at Turnberry since 2009, although it had long been on the traditional roster of courses to host the tournament.

The decision not to use the course as a host venue came as the American golf authorities stripped Mr Trump's Bedminster course in New Jersey of the right to host the 2022 US PGA Championship.

A statement issued by the Royal and Ancient, which organises the Open, said taking the championship back to Turnberry would distract from events on the course.

"The R&A had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future," chief executive Martin Slumbers said.

"We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances."

The Open Championship switches venues every year with Turnberry one of 10 courses on the current rotation until the R&A announcement.

Situated in Ayrshire, Turnberry has played host to several notable moments in Open history, including the 1977 Duel in the Sun when America's Tom Watson overcame compatriot Jack Nicklaus, golf's most successful major champion and a supporter of Mr Trump, in a dramatic final round.