Press release from Sir Roger Gale MP
Manston Airport – Government confirms support for an air freight hub
The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, has confirmed ongoing support for Manston Airport.
Speaking at transport questions in the Commons this (Thursday) morning, Manston`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, said
“As Britain leaves the EU we shall have to develop more business with Asia and the Far East. That will create a demand not only for more passenger traffic but particularly for more air freight. Will my Rt. Hon. Friend confirm that RiverOak needs to succeed in its efforts to open an air freight hub at Manston and is it not the case that Manston Airport must be preserved as a piece of important national infrastructure?”
Responding the Secretary of State said that while he recognised that there were differences of local opinion about the future of the airport in East Kent the Government “would be very happy to see an air-freight hub developed at Manston”.
Speaking after the exchange Sir Roger said:
“It is clear that as we develop new markets to replace those that we shall lose within the EU and that as goods and personnel have to travel greater distances we are going to need much more capacity in the South East.
Whatever decision is taken about an additional runway at Gatwick or Heathrow we need capacity now if we are not to lose more business to mainland Europe. Manston Airport is available immediately and we must see this project through as soon as possible. I am pleased, therefore, that the Secretary of State did not hesitate to reinforce the Government`s ongoing support for Manston as an airport”.
You can currently watch the video from the House of Commons, here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/57ae1f0b-64ad-48a0-9d85-2be148e9e62d?in=09:58:27
The full text was as follows:
Sir Roger Gale MP:
“Mr Speaker, as Britain leaves the European Union, we are going to have to develop more markets in Asia and the Far East. That’s going to mean more passenger traffic and particularly more freight traffic. Is it not therefore essential in the national interest that RiverOak’s plans for a freight hub at Manston are allowed to proceed, be successful and that we preserve Manston as an airport in the national interest.”
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP:
“Well, Mr Speaker, I obviously understand how strongly people in Thanet feel about the future of Manston; I know how controversial it is and it has been. I can simply say to him that this Government would be perfectly supportive of proposals to develop a freight hub at Manston, but of course it has to be I am afraid, a matter for the local community, the owners, the local authority and I hope that they reach the right decision in the interests of the nation.”