We are an East Kent based group who feel passionately that Manston, Kent’s International Airport, should be used to far greater effect than it is at present. Formed in 2012, we are pleased to have been involved in efforts to attract further business to the airport. At that time, Manston already benefitted from a thriving Air Cargo facility that enjoyed an excellent reputation for good service and excellent aircraft turn-round times. This proved to be the main income stream for the airport.
In April 2013, we were pleased to see the initiation of the KLM/Air France regular, twice daily, return service between Manston and Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. This service became very popular and in effect, meant that Manston passengers, by staging through Schiphol Airport, could connect to up to 130 international destinations worldwide. At that time Manston could be expected become a major international airport, to rank with others in the South of England.
Sadly, this increasing activity ceased in 2014, upon the sale of the airport to a holding company set up by Ann Gloag of Stagecoach fame and the subsequent closure of the airport for proposed development.
Our group remit then changed and in company with our sister groups, “Save Manston Airport” (SMA) and “Support Manston Airport” (SuMA), became focussed on supporting the various initiatives designed to bring the airport back into full use, seeking to oppose any change of use applications to airport infrastructure and to inform residents of any issues surrounding airport activities. In these aims, we have all been successful in varying degrees and hope to continue to do so.
Manston Airport, ideally situated in East Kent, has one of the widest and one of the longest runways in the country, able to cope with the latest of aircraft types, with flights able to take off and approach almost straight out over the sea. Road access to Manston has been upgraded with a dual carriageway running through East Kent, (A299 off the M2) which runs East-West, and the A256, running North-South, both with their exits close to Manston.
Manston also has a railway running nearby. In the recent past, plans have been submitted (October 2013), for a New Manston Parkway Station close to the airport.
Even without a new station near the airport, Ramsgate is only two miles from Manston and has been upgraded to receive the much lauded High Speed Train service from London through Ashford.
We have an Annual General Meeting each year where all members and supporters are invited to attend and to air their views.