Manston’s potential recognised by Secretary of State
Comments made by Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Transport, recognising Manston Airport’s role in the future aviation capacity for the South East have been warmly welcomed by the owners of the Kent airport.
Speaking at a major aviation conference in London, the Secretary of State acknowledged that the UK’s capital is the most “well connected city in the world”, but that London’s airports would be at capacity by 2030 with significant crowding pressures by the mid 2020s, even if regional airports start to shoulder more of the load.
On the issue of London airport capacity, she added: “It has five highly successful and busy airports… six if you include Southend, and some would like to see Manston play a role in meeting our aviation capacity needs as well.”
Reacting to the speech, Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “The recognition by Theresa Villiers that regional airports, such as Manston, can play an important role in meeting both short and long term demand for capacity and help the UK improve its connectivity and therefore compete with other European and international economies, is hugely significant.
“We have always viewed Manston as a South East regional airport and one capable of playing its part in the nation’s aviation network for freight and passenger traffic. “Thanks to our existing runway we have the greatest capacity available for immediate use, rather than waiting at least twenty years to see the first plane arrive at Boris Johnson’s proposed estuary airport. Combine our existing capacity with the ease of connecting the airport to HS1 and reaching London in an hour, and Manston really is an attractive proposition for airlines.
“With the Government reaffirming its commitment to not considering a third runway at Heathrow it means that the debate will now focus even closer on available runway capacity and improving operating efficiencies at the region’s airports.”