London May Get A Sixth Airport

Manston Airport closed in 2014 Credit: Supporters of Manston Airport Facebook

LONDON currently has five main passenger airports, City, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted but many will remember the so called Boris Island sites for a proposed sixth airport which came to nothing.

Manston closed in 2014

In 2014, the private owner of Manston Airport in Kent decided to close it and there was talk of the entire area, which was first opened as an RAF station in 1916 and saw service in both the First and Second World Wars, being sold to build housing.

The Royal Air Force had withdrawn in 1996 and it was run as a commercial airport until its closure with freight, some passenger and private flights taking place regularly.

New owners

Since its closure, it’s been an overflow lorry park for those taking freight between the UK and France but is now owned by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) which reportedly plans to invest up to £500 million in bringing the runways up to date and to create a new terminal.

Local opposition

Government approval has been given for work to be undertaken to recreate this potential sixth London Airport but it seems probable that local residents will mount a legal challenge to plans to reopen Manston.

Assuming they fail, then it is anticipated that there could be commercial freight services operating by 2028 and it is argued that it is less polluting to fly goods to and from France than to ship the equivalent amount of freight in lorries.

New rail link

If this works, then the next step will to try to attract passenger airlines to use Manston and this will be helped by the fact that earlier this year, Thanet Parkway Station opened to the public and is just three and half miles away from the airport, so with journey time from London St Pancras just over an hour it should be commercially viable to build a link to the airport itself.

Time will tell and it could be decades before passenger services start again according to Kent Online but London may eventually have another air bridge to Spain.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


    • Neil Friday

      23 October 2023 • 10:28

      Some 61 years ago, I clearly remember flying from Manston to Salzburg on a school holiday in a DC-3 Dakota.

    • James Billington

      23 October 2023 • 17:23

      Oh right, so these ejits go on about the global climate change hoax yet they want to open another airport..??? plus ULEZ rubbish, it boggles the mind…………

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