We are campaigning to save Manston Airport in Kent and restore it as a viable regional airport.
Manston Airport (previously RAF Manston) is situated in Thanet, Kent. It has a long and proud history stretching back 100 years. It played a major roles in WW1, WW2 and the Cold War. It has been the training grounds of many private, commercial, RAF, Red Arrow and USAF pilots. Operations at the airport were ceased on Thursday the 15th of May by owners Ann Gloag (Stagecoach tycoon) and Pauline Bradley. We believe Manston Airport still has a future as an important local and national asset. We have set out to to secure the future of Manston Airport as a vibrant, successful regional airfield.
Manston Airport is in the heart of Kent and would benefit local people by creating jobs and providing an excellent connection to mainland Europe. Flying through Manston Airport is simple, fast and stress-free – much simpler and quicker for many than driving to one of the London airports.
On 15 October 2013, Infratil announced they would sell the airport to a company wholly owned by Ann Gloag, co-founder of Stagecoach Group. Manston Skyport Ltd took over the running of the airport on 29 November 2013. On 19 March 2014, it was announced that a 45-day consultation period into the closure of the airport had begun. Daily losses were said to be running at £10,000. The airport’s chief executive announced that the airport could close on 9 April 2014. On 25 March 2014 KLM announced the suspension of their flights to Amsterdam from 10 April, leaving the airport without any scheduled passenger traffic.
Multiple bids were entered to buy the airport by parties including Riveroak Investment Corp., an American company who has previous experience in aviation and debt restructuring. These credible, viable and fair bids had been refused by the airport owner which was branded as “corporate vandalism” by Sir Roger Gale MP. This leads many to believe Ann Gloag and Pauline Bradley’s plan was for re-development for the start. The airport ceased operations on May 15th 2014.
In September 2014, it was announced that Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave had purchased a majority stake in the Airport site for an undisclosed fee. They now have decided to rename the site as “Stone Hill Park” and plan to redevelop the site to include housing and “mixed-use”.
Action continues within the SuMA group, aiming to save Manston Airport and support it in the long term.
As of March 2016, Thanet District Council is still pursuing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of the site with three potential investors, and RiverOak are following the route of a Development Consent Order (DCO) after being rejected twice by Thanet District Council.
The campaign to save Manston Airport continues.