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Home   Thanet   News   Article

Buyer in contact with Sir Roger Gale MP as Manston airport in consultation over closure

24 March 2014
by Mary Louis

Interest has been shown by a buyer - backed by a consortium - to take over the running of Manston airport.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, a committed supporter of Manston, has outlined the latest moves to save the airport. 

It follows the bombshell announcement to staff last Wednesday that the airport could close following a 45-day consultation period - leaving 150 staff without a job.
 
Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale at Manston Airport

Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale at Manston Airport

 
Already more than 11,000 people have signed a petition to keep the airport running. 
 
Sir Roger said there had been significant developments since the announcement.  
 
He said: “Most significantly, I am in contact with a willing buyer who has, I believe, a consortium with the  resources necessary to acquire the airport as a going concern and with a view to operating it as such. 

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They are hoping to brief a public meeting in Thanet on Saturday.  

 
"There are others who have also expressed interest in contributing financially, on a realistic basis, to an acquisition.
 
"It now remains to be seen whether the present owner is willing to sell and, if so, upon what terms.
 
Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale with Manston Airport Chief Executive Charles Buchanan.

Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale with Manston Airport Chief Executive Charles Buchanan.

 
He has spoken with the Secretary of State for Transport and with the Minister for Aviation, and had raised the issue on the floor of the House at Transport Questions last Thursday.
 
Sir Roger had also “raised the obvious concerns” with the Minister of State for Defence and was awaiting his response.  
 
He continued: “I am in ongoing discussions with the Leader of Kent County Council, who has clarified his position and confirmed his support for Manston as an operating airfield and his continued support for the fast rail link and proposed Manston Parkway station.
 
Manston Airport is facing a closure threat

Manston Airport is facing a closure threat

 
 
Sir Roger and Thanet South MP Laura Sandys are due to meet the Aviation Minister on Wednesday.  
 
They are also in the process of arranging further ministerial meetings on Thursday, together with the assembly of the necessary high-level working group. 
 
They are hoping to brief a public meeting in Thanet on Saturday.  
 
Sir Roger said: “I remain of the view that Manston is a national as well as a local asset and that it should, if at all possible, remain open for aviation and as a major diversion field and Search-and-Rescue base.”


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