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Manston firm TG Aviation lose High Court battle to use airport runway

By Chris Price

A flying club has lost its bid to return to Manston airport.

TG Aviation failed to gain an injunction in the High Court on Wednesday which would have allowed them to use the runway at the site, which no longer has an operating licence for air traffic.

The company had been based at the Thanet airfield for 30 years but was forced to move its operations to Lydd when it closed in May.

TG Aviation

The firm launched its case last month but twice saw proceedings adjourned, initially to allow the airports owners Kent Facilities Limited – owned by Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag – to gather evidence.

A spokesman for Manston Airport said: “We welcome the decision and we will now review the written judgment when it is published in the coming days before making any further comment.”

TG Aviation still had 50 years left on its lease at Manston before it was forced to leave.

The firm is run by Mark Girdler and his wife Sue and has trained hundreds of pilots, including several Red Arrows.

Mr Girdler said: “We felt we had no choice but to fight our corner but did not expect it to be such a drawn-out affair. The judge has not ruled on costs yet, but they will be considerable and any donations towards these will be gratefully accepted.

“We are down but a long way from out, and are committed to fighting on for our rights under our lease.

“We have special vouchers available to help support our operation and ensure that we can continue this fight to stop redevelopment of the airport. They start at £25 and have no upper limit.

“These can be used against flying during their six-month validity or be allowed to expire, donating the money to our cause.”

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