Manston tries to use Theresa Villiers speech to press for its expansion
In her speech to an aviation conference in London on 18th April, Theresa Viliers made a brief mention of Manston, saying “some would also like to see Manston to play a role in meeting our aviation capacity needs”. The “some” who would like to see Manston play a part are North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale and the airport owners. By comparison, airlines and passengers are conspicuous by their absence, and there is huge public opposition to expansion of the airport – the approach path of which is directly over Ramsgate, with the runway just a mile from houses. Roger Gale said that, “given the right rail links and good road links, there is no reason why Manston shouldn’t play a major role in aviation in the south east.” But it does not have those road and rail links. Manston is just not in a suitable location to be a useful London airport. Location, location, location.
“Arguably, London is the most well connected city in the world.
“It has five highly successful and busy airports … six if you include Southend and some would also like to see Manston to play a role in meeting our aviation capacity needs as well.”
BBC NEWS19 April 2012
Manston could ‘play a role’ in airport capacity needs
Manston airport in Kent could help meet aviation capacity needs in London, according to Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers.
Ms Villiers told delegates at a transport conference the government did not support a third runway at Heathrow.
She said that another solution was needed and that “some would like to see Manston play a role in meeting our aviation capacity needs”.
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said: “This is very significant indeed.”
The Conservative MP said: “This is the first time that any senior transport minister has recognised the potential of Manston.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that, given the right rail links and good road links, there is no reason why Manston shouldn’t play a major role in aviation in the south east.
“I know the Secretary of State has taken on board the fact the need is now.
“We are losing business to Holland, we are losing business to France – we can’t wait 20 years – Manson is there now and Justine Greening and Theresa Villiers have recognised that.”
Charles Buchanan, chief executive of Manston airport in Thanet, said that, in the long term, building a new infrastructure would mean a major airport capacity increase could take about 20 years.
He said that the short term solution to the aviation capacity problem would be to develop the existing infrastructure in the south east, particularly Manston airport, which already has the ability to accommodate intercontinental flights and also has a long runway.
The coalition government is currently consulting on the future of aviation policy and Ms Villiers was speaking at the Transport Times conference, on Wednesday, looking at A New Strategy for UK Aviation – The Case for New Hub Capacity.
The government plans to publish its aviation review in the summer.
Theresa Villiers shuts door on third runway at Heathrow
Date added: April 19, 2012
Ms Villiers stressed at an aviation conference in London that, although there were divergences of opinion within the Coalition on aviation policy, the Government would look at all options for increasing capacity in the South East “with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow”. She said “The Coalition has always been clear that its doesn’t support a 3rd runway at Heathrow – one of the very first acts as government was to confirm that.” And “The quality of life aspect of a 3rd runway with up to 22,000 more flights over London every year would be massive and there’s no technological solution in sight to ensure planes become quiet enough, quickly enough to make this burden in any way tolerable. So we need another solution.” This could also potentially put the Government on a legal collision course with BAA, which cautioned it could go down the route of a judicial review if Heathrow was the one option barred from the public inquiry into future hub capacity.