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Home   Kent   News   Article

Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan optimistic of future despite Davies Commission setback

30 December 2013
by Chris Price

The chief executive of Manston Airport says it is “business as usual” as the new owners get to know the site.

Charles Buchanan says Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag is “getting familiar” with the company since taking over in November.

The Stagecoach founder brought in former Southend Airport managing director Alastair Welch on the day her firm Lothian Shelf bought the Thanet business for £1.

Charles Buchanan

Charles Buchanan

Mr Buchanan said: “We have a lot of work going on and the new owners are getting familiar with the business.

“We are all working well together. It’s a question of him [Alastair Welch] and the new owners getting familiar with the new business they have taken over.

“In the meantime we have got our KLM service continuing to operate and cargo services coming in on a regular basis.

“It is business as usual as the new owners get familiar with the company they have taken over.”

Manston Airport

Manston Airport

Earlier this month, Manston was dismissed as a ‘reliever’ airport for the South East region by the Airports Commission. Led by Sir Howard Davies, its interim report shortlised plans at Heathrow and Gatwick as ways to cope with the area’s need for more aviation capacity by 2030.

Also saying plans at the Isle of Grain would be investigated further, the report said while the Manston proposal “presents some potential” it did not address “the large question of London and South East capacity”.

Mr Buchanan added: “The report identifies the need for another airport almost the size of Heathrow.

“We are not going to have a four-runway hub airport on the Isle of Thanet but we are going to play an important and increasing role within satisfying demand for air travel and cargo within the local area and the regional context.

'Manston is not a stopgap. It is an integral part of the solution.'

“Manston is not a stopgap. It is an integral part of the solution.

“We are going to be developing plans for the future in light of the Davies announcements.”

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