The interested buyer for Manston has withdrawn.
Update from Business of the House at the House of Commons today, THURSDAY 4TH APRIL 2014
My right hon. Friend is aware that Manston airport in my constituency is threatened with closure after fewer than four months of a promised two years under its present ownership. Manston is a planned search and rescue facility, and a major diversion field: only this week, a jet destined for Heathrow and running short of fuel had to be diverted to Manston. I am still hopeful that with good will it may be possible to secure a buyer prepared to keep the airport open, and if Manston does close I shall wish to raise the background to the matter in an Adjournment debate. In the meantime, will my right hon. Friend seek to ensure that the Government gives consideration to how the predatory disposal of national assets with security implications might be averted?
I am sure the House will completely understand and indeed endorse my hon. Friend’s view of the importance of regional airports—in this instance Manston—in his constituency and in other neighbouring constituencies across Kent, and Thanet in particular. As he knows, my hon. Friends at the Department for Transport are well aware of the issue, and in addition to what he said about the desirability of a debate in the House, I know that they will want to keep in touch with him and with the owners and operators out of Manston airport, recognising all the while that it is a commercial matter, but that the importance they attach to regional airports is undiminished.