A view published in the Telegraph today by someone with first-hand knowledge of the issue with airport capacity in the South East, and positive comments about Manston: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/10/06/letters-mrs-mays-idea-of-state-interference-is-what-we-voted-bre/
Jet traffic jam
SIR – Governments of all colours have shown cowardice on an epic scale over airport policy, ignoring both economic and safety considerations.
As a pilot of a jet airliner, I know that London’s airspace is operating at capacity. Each day I enter the holding pattern south of Gatwick, then hear on the radio that those going to Heathrow are subject to delays two or three times as long. When I make an approach, it is likely that, due to departing traffic, I won’t get cleared to land until I am about half a mile away from the runway. It is likely that we will be told to abort the landing at less than 300ft if the departing traffic is slow to move.
New runways are needed at both Heathrow and Gatwick, but these won’t solve the capacity problem if an incident happens. After receiving permission to build, Heathrow and Gatwick should share the cost of reopening and maintaining Manston airport in Kent. With its massive runway, it is the ideal place to send aircraft in trouble (be it a technical problem or terrorism) to keep them from built-up areas of the South East.
This move would not only be in the wider public interest but would also help the economy of east Kent.