Manston Airport - Secretary of State - 14th December 2015
"I wish my Honourable Friend well in his campaign to save Manston Airport" said the Secretary of State for Transport in the Commons this afternoon.
Following a statement on the future of runway capacity in the South East Patrick McLoughlin was replying to a question from Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet).
"My Right Honourable Friend is absolutely right to try to nail down the environmental issues before making a decision about a new runway" said Sir Roger "because if he does not do so then the whole House knows that we shall be facing judicial review for another generation while nothing happens.
At the same time the CEO of Heathrow Airport Limited, speaking on BBC radio last week, indicated that Heathrow was full and that there is no room for further freight traffic. It will be at least fifteen years before there are new wheels on a new runway anywhere in the South East and in the meantime we are losing business to Schiphol. Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Dubai now. Manston Airport in Kent is available as a freight hub immediately so will my Rt. Hon. Friend throw his weight behind Manston and take action - now!"?
Responding the secretary of State noted that the MP took every opportunity, in the House and in person, to press the case for Manston Airport and indicated very clearly that he had personal sympathy with the cause.
Speaking after the exchange Sir Roger said:
"The Secretary of State made it plain during the election campaign that he would like to see Manston open to help to take the pressure off Heathrow and Gatwick while other decisions are considered. He remains as supportive as ever and if we can just get past Thanet Council`s administration I really believe that we can help UK Limited in a very big way"