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Straits of Dover – Search and Rescue

April 13th 2016

The Department for Transport is this (Wednesday) afternoon confirming that the Bristow`s Search and Rescue Service will remain at Lydd Airport in Kent.

Commenting on this decision Manston`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has said:

“Naturally this is disappointing because Thanet would have liked to welcome the Search and Rescue facility back to Manston Airport. However, I have discussed the situation personally with the Minister, Robert Goodwill, and it is clear that maritime security has to take priority over our preferences or those of the DfT and the company. There are aircrew and support staff that have to be able to locate and services that have to be provided and while in the long term I do not believe that Lydd will prove to be the best site I accept that this decision is now inevitable.

I must emphasise that this conclusion , unwelcome and frustrating though it is and necessitated because of the delay in securing the future of Manston as an airport, will in no way impact upon the viability of the airfield. Search and Rescue has never been an integral part of the RiverOak business plan and, as will be revealed shortly. The acquisition process and the necessary environmental assessments and other work necessary to realise it, are very much on track.

It is also the case that the Government and Transport Ministers, including the Secretary of State, remain as supportive as they have ever been. I in turn remain absolutely determined to secure the future of Manston Airport as an operating airfield in the national interest and I have no reason to believe that that is not as achievable today and tomorrow as it was yesterday.”

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