Airport Capacity – The UK needs Manston. 17th December 2013
How will we fill the twenty – year gap in airport capacity
in the South East”? That is the question being posed this morning by North
Thanet`s MP Sir Roger Gale.
Speaking following the publication of the interim findings
of Sir Howard Davies` investigations the MP said:
We can agonise for ever over the merits of another runway at
Heathrow, another runway at Gatwick, more capacity at Stansted or `Boris
Island` but the fact of the matter is that we are losing business to mainland
Europe now. Unless we release capacity at Europe`s premier airport –
Heathrow – immediately then concerns about where to build in the future
will be academic because the traffic and the trade will have moved to Schiphol,
Paris Charles de Gaulle or even Dubai.
It will take years to get runways built at Heathrow or
Gatwick and an Island airport is pie in the sky for the foreseeable
future. We therefore have to use the facilities that are available
immediately to take some of the peripheral freight and package-tour pressure of
Gatwick to in turn relieve Heathrow. That means using Manston – an airfield that
is, in travelling time, potentially closer to Central London than Heathrow and
is available immediately.
I fear that unless we recognise the immediate concern and
bridge the gap the long-term solution” may be irrelevant because the
fight for this vital business will have been lost”.