Manston International Airport

Airport has ceased operations
City: Manston-Kent, EN
Country/Territory: United Kingdom


Manston (formerly Kent International Airport) is a decommissioned airport located in Kent, southeast England. The airport site was owned by Ann Gloag, co-founder of Stagecoach Group, who bought it for GBP1 in Oct-2013. The airport announced its closure on 15-May-2014. Outside buyers had been sought to purchase the loss-making facility, with a US firm offering GBP5 million on 6-May-2014. The offer was rejected.

May-2016. Manston International Airport spokesman Ray Mallon confirmed plans will be submitted for approval to Thanet District Council on 27-May-2016 to construct 2500 homes on the airport site.


18-Jun-2015. Manston Airport owners Chris Mugrave and Trevor Cartner released a GBP1 billion redevelopment plan for the former airport site. The plan include 2500 homes, a sports village, and 200 acres of manufacturing units, with 4000 jobs. Mr Cartner said the plans were "hugely exciting" and the site between London and Europe had "fantastic" infrastructure, with links to the capital and the ports. Under the proposals, the former airport runway would become a centrepiece of a 200 acre park. A syndicate building and a film studio are also being considered. 

18-Jun-2015. Manston Airport owners Chris Mugrave and Trevor Cartner accused MPs Sir Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay of "misleading the public" regarding the future of the airport. The Thanet MPs stated: “The secretary of state confirmed the draft report was simply subject to minor amendments to be agreed and will be released as soon as possible. The draft report confirmed there are no impediments for a CPO to be implemented by Thanet District Council (TDC) and it is now down to them to negotiate legal agreements and appropriate indemnities with RiverOak.” Messers Musgrave and Cartner spokesman Ray Mallon said: “As Members of Parliament, Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale should know better than to mislead the public with inaccurate statements. There is a major impediment in the way of a CPO being implemented by Thanet District Council (TDC) – namely £76m in indemnity. The facts are that before a CPO can take place, Thanet District Council must demonstrate it has in place the funding not only for the costs of the process and acquiring the land but also the funding to deliver the underlying scheme in the long term." He added: “TDC has previously calculated that the cost to local taxpayers of delivering a viable, long-term airport on this site would be at least £76m and with no suitable indemnity partner coming forward it had no option but to rule out the CPO." 

15-Jun-2015. Supporters of Manston Airport stated it is objecting to four applications for change of use at Manston Airport. It said: "It is important to stress that this change of use is in breach of the Local Plan (the site is designated as an airport) and should therefore not be allowed".


12-May-2015. Manston Airport's proposed Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) will fail, according to current site owners Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave. Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave said: "We are of the opinion that the advancement of a CPO process by Thanet District Council will fail. There is no foundation on which a CPO process can be progressed and this has more to do with politics than the interests of the public. If Thanet District Council continue they will have wasted taxpayers' money on a venture they could not win." Two concepts for the area have been revealed, each with residential areas, commercial space and parkland.

11-May-2015. UK Independence Party stated it won control of Thanet Council in the General Election, with Manston Airport a key part of its agenda. The newly-formed council has said it will proceed with the proposed compulsory purchase of Manston Airport. Ukip councillor Chris Wells has previously said he wants to move quickly on the controversial project, stating: "We are committed to carrying forward on our election pledge that we will [have a CPO] and that is what will occur,...I do expect it will be legally challenged. Clearly I have got to look at the papers but I do think it is a decision we can move forward with." 

Apr-2015. Support Manston Airport stated that the UK Minister of State for Aviation John Hayes delivered a "double boost" to the campaign to save Manston Airport. The Minister announced a new deal for Bristow search and rescue helicopters which could be based at Manston. The company had originally intended to base themselves at Manston before its closure, but the announcement by Mr Hayes revealed that the one-year deal Bristow has signed only commits the company to basing itself at Lydd Airport temporarily. The minister also advised Thanet District Council he is satisfied by the indeminity guarantee from River Oak, the company which would like to partner with Thanet District Council (TDC) to force the sale of Manston Airport in order to retain it as an airport.

Feb-2015. RiverOak Investments Corp provided a submission to the Transport Select Commission on Manston Airport and noted its belief in the airport's potential as a reliever airport for congested London airspace. RiverOak said a report it commission by Northolt Aviation notes that re-opening Manston Airport in Kent would provide specialist reliever runway capacity for the increasingly congested London airspace, in emergencies and when diversions are required. The report was provided to the Transport Select Committee as part of RiverOak’s submission to the ‘Inquiry into Smaller Airports’ session. RiverOak Investment Corp is seeking to become Thanet District Council’s commercial partner in a CPO process in order to revive Manston as an operating airport.

Jan-2015. Manston Airport's compulsory rejection decision has been "called in" by the overview and scrutiny panel which will consider it on 13-Jan-2015. Thanet District Council's cabinet decided on 11-Dec-2014 not to impose a compulsory purchase order (CPO), against the wishes of campaigners. The panel will look at whether the cabinet followed the proper procedures and will consider whether the report on which the cabinet based its decision contained sufficient details and evidence.

Dec-2014. Thanet District Council stated on 12-Dec-2014 that councillors agreed no further action will be taken at the present time on a compulsory purchase of Manston Airport. The decision was made following a soft-market testing exercise which did not identify a suitable indemnity partner – a third party who would cover all of the costs of a CPO.

Sep-2014. Manston Airport has been sold to regeneration specialists Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave. The partners purchased the majority stake for an undisclosed fee. A 20-year GBP1 billion redevelopment of the site into a housing and commercial area is planned. The development is projected to create more than 4000 jobs. 

Jun-2014. A petition of 8000 signatures has been presented urging the district coucil to compulsorily purchase Manston.


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