Manston Airport: Flights planned after five-year closure

Manston Airport Image copyright PA
Image caption Manston Airport closed in May 2014

The new owners of an airport which shut five years ago have revealed plans to restart flights by 2022.

Manston Airport has been bought by RiverOak Strategic Partners, which wants to open it once again for "short-haul and cargo flights".

Since its closure in May 2014, Manston had been earmarked for new homes and even a possible lorry park during Operation Stack.

RiverOak has confirmed a deal to buy the site from Stone Hill Park.

Director Tony Freudmann said: "We bought it to turn it back into an airport and it means the development consent order process will continue."

He added: "The current plan is to have the airport reopened in the spring of 2022 for short-haul and cargo flights."

Homes plans rejected

Manston's closure in 2014 saw 150 jobs axed and it has remained shut since.

More than 26,000 people signed a petition protesting against the airport's closure.

In January 2018 controversial proposals to build 2,500 homes on the site of Manston Airport were rejected by Thanet District Council.

Earlier this year the site was tested as a potential lorry park to be used in the event of post-Brexit congestion at the cross-Channel ports.

Mr Freudmann confirmed the company would honour the current agreement Stone Hill Park had with the Department for Transport for the use of the site.

RiverOak predicts that from 2024, 680,000 passengers will fly from Manston each year, along with 174,000 tonnes of cargo. It expects commuters and cargo will double from those figures after two decades.Correction 16 August 2019: A quote that featured in this article was removed after the BBC was unable to verify its accuracy.

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