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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Keith Churcher, from the Save Manston Airport campaign group, outside Kent County Council headquarters in Maidstone to raise support

27 May 2014
by James Walker

A one man protest against the closure of Manston Airport is taking place in front of County Hall.

Keith Churcher, chairman of the Save Manston Airport campaign group, says he will spend most of the day outside of Kent County Council’s headquarters to raise awareness about the airport’s closure.

He feels that people in West Kent do not understand the severity of its closure and wants to get more people behind the campaign.

Keith Churcher outside County Hall

Keith Churcher outside County Hall

He said: “Thanet is a very, very deprived area. We have lost Dreamworld and Pfizer and to lose this really, really gets our backs up.

“It can be a highly profitable airport with very little investment. I have seen the business plans and I know it will work. The plan estimates half a million profit from the first year. 

“I have had quite a few people ask questions but a majority of people don’t even know that the airport’s there because it hasn’t been publicised

“The current and previous management haven’t gone out there to try and make it commercially viable which is a great shame because it has a very good catchment area.”

The campaign group is trying to negotiate a deal with airport staff and investors to get its owner Ann Gloag to sell it for a fair price.

Manston airport has closed

Manston airport has closed

It claims 250 jobs from directly inside the airport have been lost and the total amount of jobs lost is 600.

Concerns have also been raised about suggestions to airport could be demolished to make way for a garden city.

Mr Church said: “The biggest concern is that the owners may try and bypass local government and go straight to secretary of state to make it a garden city. I would say we can’t let this happen, stand your ground and stand firm.

“The government have said they will support Manston Airport and now they need to show it.”

A spokesperson for Manston Airport said: “A number of people have approached the owners with ideas for the future of the site and they will be considered over the coming months. 

"No decisions have been made by the owners regarding the future of the site and it is likely to be a number of months before any decisions are made.”

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