The Manston Airport Viability report is out.
Thanet District Council’s Press Release: https://www.thanet.gov.uk/the-thanet-magazine/press-releases/2016/october/manston-airport-viability-report/
It is AviaSolutions view that having considered the stakeholder interviews and independent research and analysis into historic accounts and ‘reasonable’ adjustments for one-off costs that there is little prospect of a financially viable airport on the site.
The only circumstances in which we believe the airport may be viable is that in which no new runway were developed in the South East of England. However, this scenario presents extreme risk to the investor, as a decision to increase runway capacity at those not physically constrained (e.g. legally constrained LHR and STN) could be made at any time, or a new runway may be authorised at any time in the future.
From the TDC Press Release:
The findings of an independent report considering whether viable airport operations could be re-instated on the site of Manston Airport have today (Tuesday 4 October) been announced.
Aviation industry experts, AviaSolutions, conclude within their report that ‘airport operations at Manston are very unlikely to be financially viable in the longer term and almost certainly not possible in the period to 2031’.
To inform their report, AviaSolutions discussed the re-opening of Manston Airport with a number of organisations and individuals, and carried out a detailed assessment of the air transport market and the potential finances of a re-opened Manston Airport. They also considered a number of potential airport scenarios.
The study was undertaken to form part of the evidence base for Thanet District Council’s emerging Local Plan. The findings will be used to inform the Local Plan policy for the airport site.
Under the existing Local Plan, the Manston site is reserved for aviation use only. As the airport has been closed for two years the council is required to demonstrate evidence if it wishes to maintain that designation. This is why the report considers if there would be a reasonable prospect of airport viability within the period of the Local Plan – up to 2031.
Furthermore, the council must be able to satisfy the Planning Inspector that it has done all it can to base the future of the site on evidence.
Avia Solutions presented their findings to the council’s cross-party Local Plan Working Group today (Tuesday 4 October).
The report will be considered as part of the wider Local Plan, which will go to public consultation early in 2017, before presentation to the Planning Inspectorate for their consideration.