Manston Airport in Kent has been granted approval by the government to re-launch as a freight cargo hub, with the potential for passenger flights.
The airport has been given development consent to open in a £300m plan to change it to a dedicated air freight facility. The new owners intend it to be able to handle at least 10,000 air cargo movements per year whilst also offering passenger, executive travel, and aircraft engineering services.
RiverOak Strategic Partners bought Manston Airport, which closed in 2014, and plan to restart short-haul and cargo flights in spring 2023.
It’s good news for plane spotters, bad news for those living under the flight path
David Foley from the East Kent Chambers of Commerce gave his reaction to news of the airport transformation by saying “it is good news for business”. Clearly he does not live near the airport.
Opponents to night time flights have questioned Manston’s viability and say they fear it will mean pollution and noisy night-flights for those living nearby. They are annoyed that the Secretary of State has granted this approval when Ramsgate Council had reservations.
Anne-Marie Nixey, from No Night Flights said the airport would be a “blight on the area.” The word “blight” is very rarely used these days, unless someone is really cross!
The closure of the former airport was announced on 6th May 2014 and it shut its doors officially on 15th May 2014.
It was announced that the site might be used to house overflow lorries from Operation Stack in July 2015. To prevent lorries from parking on the motorway during busy periods, freight traffic bound for the Port Of Dover could have been diverted to the airfield and held until it could be directed to the ferry service
There is now a six-week period in which the decision can be challenged. No doubt, the whole idea will be shut down due to bureaucracy and a number of legal challenges.