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Thread: Why close Manston Airport (MSE) at a time of expansion plans for Heathrow and Gatwick

  1. #1
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    Why close Manston Airport (MSE) at a time of expansion plans for Heathrow and Gatwick

    Manston Airport, Kent UK, (MSE) has been closed by its owner in spite of an offer of the full asking price from an airfield operating company. 140 direct redundancies, up to 700 jobs affected including TG Aviation, with 50 years remaining on its lease.

    RAF Manston served in both the first world war and the second world war.
    Its motto was “Arise to Protect”.

    Manston Airport has seen Concord, the Space Shuttle could have but never actually needed to land, and recently BA’s new Airbus A380 spent a while at Manston, both for crew training and filming an advert. Recently, until requested to leave so that that Manson Airport could be closed, KLM were flying increasingly popular Cityhopper flights to Schiphol Hub, Amsterdam (AMS).
    Manston from the air.jpgP1180601_Ciythopper - Manston.jpg
    Over 15,000 people have signed a petition in support of Manston Airport which has been a remarkably fast, efficient, friendly and convenient airport to use, and to work at :

    Arise to Protect - Save Manston Airport
    www.facebook.com/download/preview/656369787776842

    Manton Airport Kent has major travel advantages - v2b
    www.facebook.com/groups/616428761764523/645012062239526/
    Also see :
    www.facebook.com/events/580892218698984/

    Manston Airport now has excellent HS1 high-speed rail links 8 minutes away by taxi from Ramsgate station to Ashford International and Central London (to be further upgraded this Autumn), plus recently completed dual-carriageway roads from Manston Airport boundary fence across Kent and into Central London.

    We have extensive evidence that the highly efficient nature of Manston Airport means that you can be as far away from Manston as any of the 13 Category-A mainline stations in London, or on the junction 9 roundabout on the M23, at the Gatwick Airport boundary, and you will still be quicker to fly from Manston Airport than either Heathrow or Gatwick Airports.
    Plane at end of dual-cariageway + sign.jpg
    "The (Davies) Commission noted … a number of significant challenges, such as relatively poor surface transport links …”*
    “The Commission … does not intend to revisit previous decisions."

    Is there anything this group can do to help change the Davies Commission's interim conclusion ?
    airports.enquiries@airports.gsi.gov.uk

    We particularly also ask you to please sign this petition :
    http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/mgEPe...lay.aspx?id=67

    Cheers,
    Dr. Beau Webber
    Lab-Tools Ltd., Canterbury & Ramsgate
    www.Lab-Tools.com

    Save Manston Airport group :
    www.facebook.com/groups/616428761764523/652155541525178/
    www.savemanstonairport.com

    A link to a flight comparison :
    http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...)-retn-via-LHR
    Last edited by DrBeauWebber; 2014-06-04 at 18:24.

  2. #2
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    Unfortunately Manston is not a great location for an international airport unless you're in London or south of the Thames in the south-east, the best it could do is compete with Gatwick, Geography really works against it.

    Gatwick is better placed but it too is really awkward for anyone beyond the line Watford to Bristol ... when Manchester becomes easier to get to.

    The ideal place for a new London hub would have been Greenham Common airfield - now long closed.

    The owner of the airfield probably sees it as a large area that could be used for industrial development with a convenient location serving surface communication UK - Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterhr View Post
    Unfortunately Manston is not a great location for an international airport unless you're in London or south of the Thames in the south-east, the best it could do is compete with Gatwick, ....
    Hi peterhr, if you will have a look at my doccument Manton Airport Kent has major travel advantages - v2b.pdf www.facebook.com/groups/616428761764523/645012062239526/
    you well see that the travel times (by road or rail) from the category A main-line London railway stations to Manston are currently only slightly longer than to Heathrow (and due to be equalised by rail upgrades this Autumn), but in addition there is a 30 min KLM check in time at the highly efficirnt Manston vs the 2 hour/3 hour check in at Heathrow.

    This means that even for London, as Sir Roger Gale said in The House of Commons, your backside will be on a plane seat quicker via Manston Airport than via Heatrow or Gatwick.

    I grant you, for regions North, North-West and North-East of London, Manston will not necessarily be the best choice (the break point for total travel time seems to be around High Wycombe). But Manston does not want to replace Heathrow, all we are asking for is a few percent of Heathrow and Gatwick traffic, particularly the freight traffic. Manston can do this without any appreciable expansion or upgrade.

    Where there may be a good case for upgrade is for establishing Manston as a small package freight air/rail/road/shipping hub to adjacent hubs for global express packages. It already has excellent access to all these communication modes.
    Last edited by DrBeauWebber; 2014-06-05 at 08:37.

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    Well if the owner has chosen to decline a full asking price offer, he must have other reasons for refusing to sell to the operating company. Maybe eyes on a better offer for development maybe? By the way, leases of less than 50 years are seen as a wasting asset in commercial terms and unlikely to be seen as good value if offered as collateral.

    As a freight hub, do you not think Stobarts have not considered what might be developable from Southend as a similar venture?
    Last edited by RAFF; 2014-06-10 at 16:34.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAFF View Post
    Well if the owner has chosen to decline a full asking price offer, he must have other reasons for refusing to sell to the operating company. Maybe eyes on a better offer for development maybe?
    But indeed. The original claimed intention by the owner was to develop Manson Airport for at least two years.
    Manston Skyport Ltd took over the running of the airport on 29 November 2013
    On 19 March 2014, it was announced that a 45-day consultation period into the closure of the airport had begun
    A total period of 167 days = 5 months, 2 weeks, 2 days.
    Within a short period of rejecting the offer, a discussion of a "Garden City" at Manston Airport was floated.
    This is viewed with horror by Thanet people who know how much unemployment already exists in the region.
    The common Thanet view is that the airport was originally bought with the intention of closing it for housing, and that the timescale for shutting Manston airport was brought forward when the KLM Cityhopper flights to Schiphol Hub were showing signs of being increasingly successful. The closure "consultation" was announced simultaneosly with a government announcement of monetary support for flights from such airports.

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    Money and power undoubtedly corrupt..........

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    Airports Commission : Discussion Paper 06

    Is there anything this group can do to help change the Davies Commission's interim conclusion ?
    Well the answer is "Probably NOT". However :
    A new consultation has just been announced :
    "Airports Commission : Discussion Paper 06 : Utilisation of the UK’s Existing Airport Capacity"
    www.gov.uk/government/news/airports-commission-publishes-discussion-on-the-uks-existing-airport-capacity
    "The Airports Commission is ... calling for evidence on the connectivity and business models of the UK’s existing airport capacity."
    This is just what we need, it is indeed a carefully constructed discussion document asking the sort of questions that Manston Airport can answer.
    Also, hopefully, the airlines such as KLM and Newmarket that have recently flown from it, until forced out by the owner (as well as the cargo airlines) will be putting their point of view.
    If you have comments that are relevant :
    Chapter 7 sets out a number of specific questions ..., and provides details of how to respond to the call for evidence.
    "The Commission welcomes responses by Friday 25th July."
    "Submissions of evidence should be no longer than 15 pages and should be emailed to airport.utilisation@airports.gsi.gov.uk clearly marked as a response to the ‘Utilisation of the UK’s Existing Airport Capacity discussion paper’."
    Last edited by DrBeauWebber; 2014-06-11 at 09:01. Reason: add url

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    I am only part way through that document, but not only is it confused, it has an unwritten agenda in the way the information is presented in order to drive an assumed conclusion.

    And who proof read it?....City of Derby and City of Derry are miles apart with a bit of Irish Sea between. Abysmal.

    That is before I even disclose my hand as to whether I agree or disagree.

  9. #9
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    Just read the title of the paper - it has 7 sections - 5 of them mention London and the south east in the chapter headings, one is titled questions , the other is about 'These airports' (so is also about London & South east) ... It is not about the UK at all unless the UK stops 10 miles beyond the M25.

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    Like I suggested, it appears to be written from a predetermined conclusion backwards.

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