Published: 09:00, 02 July 2014
A mass auction of equipment used at Manston airport is to take place later this month.
The site’s owners Kent Facilities Limited – owned by Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag – are putting dozens of items under the hammer following the closure of the airport in May.
Lots include boarding steps, an aircraft de-icer, mobile baggage conveyors, Land Rovers and specialist fire engines.
Several items from the terminals are also for sale, including metal detectors, baggage scanners and even rows of seats.
Interested bidders will be allowed to view the kit up for sale at the airport near Ramsgate on Wednesday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 29, by appointment only.
They are being sold online by Lincolnshire-based auctioneers Peaker Pattinson on Wednesday and Thursday, July 30 and 31.
Their advert also indicates that items from the control tower will be for sale in September.
Mrs Gloag is due to meet Thanet District Council leader Cllr Iris Johnston in London tomorrow to discuss the future of the site.
The auction has been condemned by Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale but he says it is likely to galvanise support to get the airport reopened.
Thanet District Council is taking legal advice on the viability of issuing a compulsory purchase order for the site.
It is thought US consortium RiverOak would help to fund a buyout of the airfield, having submitted three offers for it before it was closed.
Sir Roger said: “This will simply strengthen the determination of Manston's supporters, the district council, Members of Parliament and, of course, the prospective purchasers, to buy the airfield and to get planes flying again.
“Much of what is on sale is past its best and any new operator would be looking to replace and refresh equipment more suited to the tasks generated by the new business that Manston will attract.
“The Transport Select Committee's planned inquiry into regional airports will offer a political opportunity to air the true facts surrounding what I regard as the temporary closure of Manston and in due course I shall also be seeking a further adjournment debate.
“This would do a favour for the new owners because there are a lot of bits and pieces lying around that needed to be cleared out...” - Save Manston chairman Keith Churcher
“The inquiry that a compulsory purchase order will almost certainly generate will additionally offer the chance to get the facts on the record and to expose the manner in which potential business opportunities have been squandered.”
Save Manston group chairman Keith Churcher said: “It is absolutely nothing to worry about.
“It is all equipment that needs to go anyway. It is nothing special.
“This would do a favour for the new owners because there are a lot of bits and pieces lying around that needed to be cleared out.”
A spokesperson for Manston Airport said: “We have retained Peaker Pattinson to complete the sale of the remaining assets at Manston following its closure as an airport in May.”
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