Supporters of Manston Airport react to Kent County Council’s Report

We have just received a document from Paul Carter, 16 pages long, outlining his actions past and present over Manston Airport (see here). The Supporters of Manston Airport group are shocked, but not surprised, that Paul Carter continues to be completely dismissive of the airport and the benefits it could bring both regionally and nationally.

It astounds us that, as leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter is flying in the face of the motion passed by his own Council to “support proposals to retain Manston as an airport”. Mr Carter continues to publicly champion Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave’s vision for the airport despite admitting, when being put under scrutiny by MPs at the Select Committee this year, that he had never actually seen any plans.

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This comes after the Transport Committee branded Paul Carter’s remarks as “inconsistent” and questioned his support of the proposed development of the site by Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave.

Mr Carter’s document refers to a report commissioned by Falcon Aviation that states the airport will need hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, with a payback period of perhaps 50 years. The Supporters of Manston Airport group believe this to be misleading as the report was only compiled in seven days, with limited information and inadequate money, and was only the “first stage report.”

Furthermore, Mr Carter seems to be in complete opposition to the plans set forward by his Conservative colleagues Sir Roger Gale MP, PPC Craig Mackinlay and other leading Conservatives including Transport Minister John Hayes MP and Conservative party Chairman Grant Shapps.

During Prime Minister’s Question Time last year Prime Minister David Cameron said he would do all he could to ensure the future of aviation at Manston Airport.

Finally, we are concerned that the report seems to pre-empt the decision of the review in progress, contracted by the government last week to PricewaterhouseCoopers.