Manston Airport: Consultation on closure extended after talks between Unite union members and owners

The consultation period over the future of Manston Airport and its workforce has been extended after talks between union members and the owners.

The meeting between the Unite union and management this morning was called after staff submitted rescue plans for the troubled airfield, which saw its final passenger service leave this week.

The 45-day consultation period on its closure was due to end on May 11, but the extension means redundancies will no longer be announced from that date.

The last KLM flight leaves Manston
The last KLM flight leaves Manston

The consultation will come to an end when the owners decide whether they want to close the airport.

However, no target date has been confirmed.

Unite regional officer Ian McCoulough said: "We had talks with the management today and it said that the consultation period was now extended until a final decision is made. This is to be welcomed.

"Unite would like Manston to continue as a viable airport, as we believe it is vital to the local economy in terms of employment and economic growth in Kent. We will do our utmost to achieve that goal."

Unite – which has 40 members at Manston – is due to meet management again next Wednesday and on Thursday, April 24.

Campaigners at Manston Airport
Campaigners at Manston Airport

The airport, which employs 140 people, was bought by Stagecoach co-founder Ann Gloag for £1 in November last year.

The origins of the airport stretch back to the First World War. It was heavily bombed during the Battle of Britain.

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