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Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale has vowed to fight for workers and the future of Manston Airport's site - after it was announced it's due to close.
Speaking after hearing the shock announcement during the Budget announcement yesterday, Sir Roger said he believed the failure of the airport was down to a number of factors.
He said in a statement issued today: "Nobody should pretend that this is anything other than unwelcome news.
"The airport has been under the control of Anne Gloag for a relatively short time and the expectation was that the new owner would give the operation at least two years in which to seek to attract new business and investment."
He felt the airfield was a national, not just a local, asset.
With the fourth largest runway in the country, Manston should be used to ease the shortage of capacity while long-term decisions are made to solve the issue of runway capacity, the North Thanet MP claimed.
His first objective, he said, was to work with Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, to ensure those employed at Manston were given a fair deal.
He added: "Next, Laura and I are establishing a working group to seek to secure a future for the site.
"My own next objective is to try to ensure that Manston continues to operate as an airport and I hope and expect that in this I shall have the support of Thanet District Council and Kent County Council.
"I have already raised my concerns with both the Secretary of State for Transport and the Minister of State for Aviation in parliament."
But, if it was found the airport was not viable it was vital to find the right solution for east Kent.
"Nobody should pretend that this is anything other than unwelcome news..." - Sir Roger Gale
The MP said "simply smothering the area" in housing or industrial sheds was not an option.
He said he wouldn't support any proposed development that didn't accommodate the environmental needs and heritage of Thanet.
Sir Roger added: "In archaeological terms alone Manston is historic and valuable and due attention will have to be paid, in undertaking any alternative development, to the excavation and preservation of what lies beneath the airfield. That will come at a very considerable price in itself."
While the closure of the airport would be a disappointment, Sir Roger said it would be viewed - in the same way as the closure of Pfizer at Sandwich - as an exciting challenge and opportunity.
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