We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Manston Airport: An asset we cannot afford to lose

April 24, 2014 9:03 AM

We cannot afford to lose Manston - Liberal Democrat candidates call for an extension to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and links with East Kent College

The closure of Manston airport would be a serious blow to East Kent and one that the Government should prevent at all costs, say Sarah Smith and Russ Timpson, the Liberal Democrat candidates for Dover & Deal and Thanet South.

Smith and Timpson are calling for an extension to the High Speed Rail Link (HS1) to put Manston within an hour's reach of central London.

"The pressure on capacity at Gatwick and Heathrow is huge. Improving road and rail links to Manston to allow it to play a full role in servicing the South East is an unmissable opportunity" says Smith.

"Air freight is vital for trade and we have a great asset, an established airport which can accommodate large multi-engined aircraft. Employment and sustainable regeneration must be the top priorities if our area is to thrive. Manston airport could provide hundreds of direct jobs plus valuable infrastructure that will help local business to grow."

East Kent bears a great deal of transport pressure for the benefit of the National economy, it deserves its fair share of infrastructure spending.

The Liberal Democrat candidates also want to build links between Manston and East Kent College in order to also use the airport as a civil aviation training facility.

"There is a worldwide shortage of qualified aircraft engineers. Using Manston as an aircraft servicing facility, with links to East Kent College, would provide not just jobs but apprenticeships. It could be used as a civil aviation training facility, for firefighting, security, airport management and driving." says Timpson.

Smith and Timpson reject suggestions that Manston should be redeveloped as housing site. "Yes we need more housing but not at the expense of a viable airport that generates jobs."