Aviation in the South East – “Remember Manston” -
August 28th 2012
North Thanet`s MP Sir Roger Gale has this (Tuesday) evening has returned to his now well-beaten drum ( See "Views." at www. rogergale.co.uk) regarding the potential of Manston Airport to make a significant contribution to at least the short and medium-term solutions to the aviation requirements of the South East in particular and the United Kingdom as a whole.
With the Aviation Minister (Theresa Villiers) due to visit East Kent in the near future and with name-calling between Conservative back-benchers and tension between coalition and opposition front-benchers hitting the national headlines the Thanet North MP has again reiterated the contribution that Manston is able to make to at the very least alleviate the current loss of business to the United Kingdom while a full longer-term appraisal is undertaken.
“ I am weary” says Sir Roger “of saying over and over again that while the UK dithers we are losing business – aviation , and commercial – to Amsterdam (Schiphol), Germany (Frankfurt) and France (Charles de Gaulle) at this very moment.
We simply cannot afford the luxury of front-bench wrangles or the grandstanding of Select Committee Chairmen while we decide what to build and where. We need solutions immediately – and one of those relatively cost-effective solutions is the development of Manston as a strong regional airfield that is potentially less than an hour from London by rail and capable of relieving the pressure on both Gatwick and Heathrow.
This requires not a “free-for-all” night flying policy but a sensible and pragmatic approach to commercial and environmental needs of a kind not at present indicated either by the local authority (Thanet District Council) or by Central Government.
We can finesse this, create thousands of jobs in East Kent and at the same time make a significant and possibly dramatic contribution to UK limited in the national interest.
A “Boris Island” would take twenty years to finance and build and a Heathrow Third Runway of the kind recommended by besieged environmentalist members of the House of Commons would also take far too long. The time has come to stop pussy-footing around, get on with it and utilise the runway and airfield capacity that is immediately available to us”.