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Prime Minister David Cameron vows to do everything possible to save Manston airport ahead of closure

14 May 2014
by Paul Francis

The Prime Minister has today said the government will do everything it can to keep Manston airport open - but has warned any final decision will ultimately be one that is taken by the owners.

David Cameron was responding to a question tabled by Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale at this afternoon's Prime Minister's questions. 

"The Department of Transport will be speaking about the issue and will be contacting RiverOak about the approach," said Mr Cameron.
David Cameron on a visit to Kent. Picture Press Association

David Cameron on a visit to Kent. Picture: Press Association

But he emphasised that while the government would do what it could, the decision about the airport's future was ultimately a matter for the owner Ann Gloag.
The airport is set to shut down tomorrow.
Sir Roger revealed there had been another improved offer tabled by RiverOak, but the owners had been reluctant to consider.
He said: "RiverOak put in an improved offer to develop the base but the owners are reluctant to negotiate.
"Will he seek to ensure the Civil Aviation operating licence remains, that Manston remains open and encourage further discussions to take place?"
An aerial view of Manston airport. Picture Simon Burchett

An aerial view of Manston airport. Picture: Simon Burchett

Unless there is an eleventh hour twist, it looks increasingly likely that the airport will formally close tomorrow.
The Commons debate came just hours ahead of a flypast of vintage planes from the Thanet site.

Simon Moores, from WestGate, chief pilot at Airads, was also due to fly a banner with the words Save Manston attached to his aircraft.

He said today: "It's really an expression of solidarity with the airport and the people who work for the airport.

Simon Moores - chief pilot at Airads - ahead of the flypast

Simon Moores - chief pilot at Airads - ahead of the flypast

"I've got a load of friends there - I learned to fly there, as did a lot of the Red Arrows too.

"Anything I can do that can show an expression of support that Manston might find a solution I am happy to do."


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