Airspace Change Proposal for Manston does not gain approval for next step – site owner says documents will be ‘re-evaluated’

Manston airport site Image RSP

An air space change application being undertaken by Manston airport site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) has failed to gain approval at the first ‘gateway assessment’.

The Civil Aviation Authority flight path process has to be completed for a permanent change to airspace usage, such as a change of routes if Manston becomes operational.

In 2019, RSP began the process to secure approval from the CAA for its use of airspace and procedures for safe and efficient operations to and from the airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority CAP 1616 process for airspace change is carried out in 7 stages, with 14 steps. It also includes four process ‘Gateways’ beyond which an applicant is not allowed to proceed until approved by the CAA.

The first is the Develop & Assess Gateway which follows submission of an options appraisal.

The appraisal looks at issues including, in the case of Manston, how many flights go over Ramsgate and how many go in the direction over St Nicholas-at-Wade. It looks at what options there are for issues such as the noise impact on health and quality of life: air quality; greenhouse gas impact; capacity’; access; fuel burn and costs for things such as training and operations. It also covers safety assessment.

As part of this RSP is required to produce a comprehensive list of route designs with options that minimise the time spent overland by designing tracks that route over the sea as much as possible. This is required to reduce impact on communities such as Ramsgate and Herne Bay. For Ramsgate it is unlikely that overland flight can be designed out because of how close it is to the airport site.

To pass through the first gateway stage RSP needed to:

  1. produce a comprehensive list of airspace change design options;
  2. have engaged with relevant stakeholders to explore those options to the CAA’s satisfaction;
  3. produce a design principle evaluation that the CAA has accepted
  4. produced an Initial options appraisal (phase I);
  5. the CAA must have produced and then published an assessment that the options appraisal is satisfactory

The CAA says the RSP submission did not meet Criterion 3 and Criterion 5 because of “errors and inconsistencies.”

It says these are:

Criterion 3 (Design Principles Evaluation): The development of the baseline (“Do-Minimum”) scenario and comparative assessment of the suggested Design Options against the Design Principles contained errors and inconsistencies which did not evidence clearly that the Design Options had been adequately assessed against the Design Principles.

Criterion 5 (Initial Options Appraisal): In Step 2B, the presentation of the Options Appraisal (which built on Step 2A) contained errors and inconsistencies which did not allow the CAA to conclude that it had been correctly undertaken. (

Criterion 5 (Initial Options Appraisal): The Options Appraisal did not take account of all environmental assessment requirements associated with an Airspace Change Proposal that has potential to alter traffic patterns below 7,000 feet

The CAA says: “The CAA has completed the Develop and Assess Gateway Assessment and is not satisfied that the change sponsor (RSP) has met the requirements of the process up to this point.

“The CAA does not approve progress to the next step.

“The Civil Aviation Authority has informed the change sponsor of this decision. The change sponsor is now able to reconsider its submission before resubmitting it for further review by the Civil Aviation Authority at a future Develop & Assess Gateway.

“It is important to note that whether an Air Change Proposal passes a gateway successfully or not does not predetermine the CAA’s later final decision on whether to approve the airspace change proposal. This decision is not an explicit or implicit comment on the merits or otherwise of this ACP. This will come at the decision-making stage (Stage 5).”

In response RSP said: “From the outset, RSP has stated that the CAP 1616 process used by the CAA to manage proposed changes to airspace is robust and challenging; this provides both aviation and non-aviation stakeholders with assurance that our proposals will be carefully scrutinised by an independent Regulator.

“The CAP 1616 process includes a series of ‘Gateways’ which the CAA states are intended ‘to minimise any work having to be repeated, particularly in getting the supporting documentation for consultation right’.  Although the CAA’s recent Stage 2 Gateway decision is disappointing, it reflects the robustness and transparency of this process; it is by no means unusual for Airspace Change Sponsors to have to revise and re-submit their proposals before the CAA grants permission to proceed further with the process.

“Manston represents a unique application of the CAP 1616 process; such an airspace change has never before been proposed for an airport still under development.  Reflecting on the CAA’s feedback, RSP will re-evaluate the supporting documentation with a view to re-submitting to the CAA for a further Stage 2 Gateway Assessment and progressing the ACP to the next stage, which will involve a full public consultation.

“As the CAA states, ultimately, we see this feedback as an important contribution to a successful public consultation.”

Airspace Change process

A Development Consent Order granting approval for an air freight hub at Manston airport last July was quashed in February this year with a new decision now needing to be issued after a re-examination of the Planning Inspectorate evidence.

The action came as the result of a Judicial Review challenge to the decision, launched by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes last year, which was to have been heard in the High Court.

The substantive hearing was due to look at whether the Government followed correct procedure in reaching the decision to approve the DCO for airport landowners RiverOak Strategic Partners.

But, last December the Department of Transport acknowledged that the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail about why approval was given against the advice of the Planning Inspectorate and said the Judicial Review would not be contested.

An official consent order from the court was issued to quash the approval and the new decision letter is yet to be published.

The DCO is a separate process to the air change proposals.

The site is in ownership of RSP after a £16million buy out from previous owners Stone Hill Park who had hoped to gain permission for a multi-use housing, business and leisure development.

RSP aims to create aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business.

Find the CAA airspace change application progress chart here

116 Comments

  1. No DCO
    No airspace acceptance

    Do people realise that RSPs only consistency is to fail at every turn.

    I bet they couldn’t even get planning permission for houses on the site

  2. The latest incompetence from the jokers known as RSP. Does anyone really still believe in this buffoonery apart from Roger Gale?

  3. Oh dear oh dear! Not again!
    You’ve got to applaud RSP for dogged determination.
    They tried for a CPO with the then Labour leadership at TDC .. and were rejected.
    They tried a second time under UKIP .. and were rejected again.
    They put in an application for a DCO .. and withdrew it, because it was so poor it wouldn’t have got off the ground.
    They resubmitted the DCO Application, and after a year of examination by the Planning Inspectorate .. it was rejected.
    Remarkably, the SoS interceded in favour of RSP.
    Hardly had the ink on the SoS’s letter dried, than a popular, publicly funded JR was launched .. and succeeded in quashing the SoS’s decision.
    Despite all this, RSP has plodded along (fueled by £8M compensation from HMG) and tried to get their CAA application underway .. and failed.
    Perhaps the planning of airports should be left to aviation experts ,. rather than electric barge salesman.

  4. Surely it’s now time for RSP to give up on this ridiculous plan and to come clean and admit they were going to build houses all along. Sir Roger Gale must be feeling an absolute idiot for his unquestioning support that has dumped a whole lot of houses on green fields in his constituency. Sorry SMAs, you’ve been comprehensively duped.

    • Leave it out ramsgate lover. Stop talking down to people just because they would like an airport and hope for possible chances of prosperity. You arent the expert on anything, so stop the patronising comments. As for being a ramsgate lover, large parts of it are a dump. A disenfranchised youth down there. Surely anything is worth a go for them

  5. And still this miserable saga drags on. Meanwhile the houses that could have been built on this derelict site are going on our last remaining areas of green space.

    • For the love of Scooby Doo, it doesn’t matter if house’s are or would’ve been built on the old airport, you would STILL see house’s built on all these other sites! because there’s MONEY in it, open your eyes Tony 🤷🏼‍♂️

    • YES, BUILD HOUSES AND FILL THEM WITH LONDONERS, NOT LOCAL PEOPLE WHO BY THEN WOULD HAVE NO JOBS.
      THREE CHEERS FOR RSP WITH MANSTON. LET`S GET THESE PLANES FLYING.

      • Three cheers? It’s like you think they are some sort of philanthropists with Thanet’s wellbeing at heart… they are venture capitalist wanting to wring every penny from the site !

      • Racist. We DFLs are coming and prices of everything are going to go up
        so much that you will be lucky to afford a pint or a meal by the time we gentrify Ramsgate. Who are the local people?

  6. Dotting i’s crossing t’s with the help of the CAA, all good, not long now.

    • I imagine that a task as simple as dotting t’s crossing i’s is a task well beyond RSP’s capabilities without help.

  7. Rsp have failed every task set to them,failed at every stage of the dco to fully address the issues raised by the planning inspector team. Now it continues still failing basic tasks what happens if a comprehensive report is needed how will they manage that,when they can’t do simply stuff

  8. Dear oh dear poor old SMAa. Will the penny ever drop that they have been royally shafted by Tone and Srog? History has proven they won’t believe the truth as they are denser than even the brown envelopes given to the decision-makers. Sad really.

  9. ooo the antis have certainly kept quiet, until something is published, so they get an air space plan that doesnt fly over Ramsgate to disturb the so much needed sleep, as the town can only be described as a sleepy town on the kent coast that once had a thriving port industry which has never suited the residents anyway and never will .

      • He’s another pillock Marva! The plan I submitted to the Planning Enquiry showed clearly aircraft flying over Ramsgate Harbour at less than 300 meters, over Ramsgate town/Ellington Park at 250/200 meters, and Nethercourt at 150/100 meters 2 or more an hour! I knocked that up on my kitchen table, so why didn’t the American Hedge Fund backers of this fairy story do the same? They must have deep pocked to continue paying retainers to RSP!

      • Exactly what i said the anti Manston Airport Group/ crowd/ whatever they would like to call themselves have been very quiet of late, until something is published that goes against the onward progress of the airport. WHY are those so against the airport, that will surely bring business to the area , without it and the economy it brings, Thanet will die amongst big housing areas. people will not want to visit because there is nothing there any more .Amazing that the harbour area is crowded on events but no other time, the tourists dont come. would you prefer to stay the same or do something about it?

        • What should the people who don’t want an airport at Manston have been doing “Of late”?

        • until Kathy posts something most people don’t have occasion to comment. Even SMAa FB page is boring of late

          • Their website hasn’t been updated since early last summer.
            But then, there’s not been a lot of progress, airportwise.

        • Malcolm, try to keep up, I know its difficult but can be satisfying. So, if tourists dont come, how come that £25 million/month was spent by tourists in 2019, 1 in 5 jobs in thanet are tourism related, and more than 4million people visit?

          Why dont you want local people to take jobs in tourism? What do you ghink they will do at the airport, fly the planes?????

  10. Reading the statement on the CAA Manston web site RSP’s procedure was inadequate and their documentation not up to scratch and these clowns propose a 24/7 cargo hub flying over a town of 44,000 with all the safety concerns that involves, what could possibly go wrong. See there is still nothing from the DFT/SOS regarding the DCO. It’s now over 3 months since they knew the DCO would be quashed.

  11. Could there not be a compulsory vote for all the people affected by the possibility of an airport at Manston. A simple “do you want an airport at Manston” yes or no. Then everyone would have a say and the result be binding. No if it buys, binding, but will both sides agree to this, no, I think not, let the bickering continue….

    • No. The Planning Inspectorate should have been the ones who decided.They were impartial, and had far more factual information than any individual could have.

      • Marva Rees, the Planning Inspectorate’s job is not to decide the DCO. The Examining Authority’s job is to conduct an examination and then make a report and recommendations for the Decisionmaker. It is not uncommon for such reports and recommendations to be over-ruled by the Decisionmaker (nominally the relevant Secretary of State).

        On a single point, in the case of Manston Airport, the Decisionmaker felt that on a bad day it was conceivable that one of the points made by an Appellant (Jenny Dawes and her backers) might prevail, so the Decision Letter (and thus the development consent Order (a Statutory Instrument) was pulled to enable it to be re-written. That triggers a return to the Decision Stage, nothing more, nothing less. That was the correct response and over time will be shown to be well-justified.

        There remains no reason to suppose that the relevant Department will flip-flop and decide to deny the Development Consent Order after further considerations bearing upon the “Need” for Manstone Airport. There’s no reason to suppose that the Government sees any merit in revisiting any of the other issues that were not tested in court in this or any other DCO challenge, either, but that hasn’t stopped opponents of the Airport, for instance, banging on about, say, Environmental issues where there’s already plenty of evidence about how those have been unsuccessful in other Judicial Reviews in case after case.

        Supporters including me have made these points repeatedly, but opponents of the Airport’s redevelopment and re-opening are not noted for being willing to concede that Applicants and the Government generally know what they are doing and are doing so successfully, albeit slowly. Their opponents point to the two recent cases (previously without precedent) in which DCO consents have had to be re-taken following Judicial Reviews, Manston Airport being one, and suggest that’s a trend. Well, it isn’t so, nor have either one of those been followed by the Government throwing in the towel.

        What is clear is that the relevant Government Departments are determined to make sure that no stone will be left unturned in reaching whatever tests the courts suggest should be met in order to get these major infrastructure development plans approved in the national interests. In this they are on the same pages as the project Applicants. If that requires more time, they’re prepared to take that time, using the powers the Government has to go beyond the statutory provisions laid down under the PA 2008 as amended. For that reason, there’s no reason for the majority of local residents and businesses across Thanet and East Kent to feel perturbed by that that no new public consultation by the Secretary of State on the Need for Manston Airport has yet taken place. The Government will have been taking other preliminary steps before then, carefully, deliberately and no doubt expensively. They will then, and only then, go through the motions of another consultation with the general public before reaching their decision and publishing it together with their reasons, but frankly, that particular part of this extended process is unlikely to take nearly the same amount of time as the present work being done, nor carry any significant amount of weight when reaching the decisions that ultimately will be taken in the name of the Secretary of State for Transport.

        • R. John Pritchard- have you ever tried writing fiction? I think you might have a flair for it.

          • How droll. No, my academic career has been devoted to undertaking thorough, cutting-edge research, and then writing and publishing highly commended, authoritative, non-fiction works under my own name. What about you?

        • Mr Prichard: if the SoS approves the DCO (let’s not get bogged down in semantics) despite the detailed findings of the PI, then it surely calls into question the whole planning process. What’s the point in spending an expensive year hearing evidence from a number of aviation experts (all of whom said “no”) if a SoS, on a whim, can ignore that recommendation?
          The SoS pulled out after conceding a single point; had it gone before the Judge, who knows how many points have fallen.

          • Whims have nothing to do with it. Due process does. Having said that, Parliament gave the decision makers (relevant Secretaries of State) a broad discretion to give as much or as little weight to all factors as they may determine to be appropriate, so long as they do in fact consider all relevant matters set out in the PA2008 as amended. Their regard for emergent policies is also dealt with in the same way. It is not in the least unusual for the decision maker to come to a different view than the Examining Authority appointed by the Planning Inspectorate, whether on particular technical issues, or on the broad overall environmental impact, or on need. So far, the courts have supported that in case after case. Only one case to the contrary has been lost following a full hearing on all relevant grounds for appeal. The Judicial Review of the Manston Airport case was not lost after such arguments were tested in court. An agreement to “revisit” one ground only was put to the judge prior to any hearing on matters of fact or law. That is hardly a real victory for Jenny Dawes and her supporter: there is no meat in that sandwich! Her side will have gained up to £35k back from their costs but are unlikely to get anything back from RSP as the burden will be upon them to prove that any further costs (up to another £35k) are due to having to respond to RSP. As RSP went along with what the Government decided to do in pulling the Decision Letter in order to improve it, there’s little or no additional cost that the Appellant could demonstrate had to be met because the DCO that was withdrawn was “owned” entirely by the Government, not RiverOak. What hasn’t been made clear is how much of Jenny Dawes’costs to date have NOT been reimbursed by anyone (and won’t be). I would guess that amounts to much more that the capped sum she will get back (£35,000) under the Aarhus Convention.

    • PaulLink, there have been several votes since 2015 about whether to save the airport or not. Even Stone Hill Park did one, hoping that the anti-airport people’s votes would win, but they didn’t. Every single poll shows the majority of residents want the airport to reopen. It has been a working airport for100 years and only shut in 2015. Many of those years it was VERY noisy. There has never been such resentment about it until recently. We desperately need jobs in Thanet. The airport is our only hope!

      • Oh dear, Ramsgate Resident you really need to check your facts. It’s not been a working airport for more than 30 years (and that’s being generous). It was an RAF and USAF base before that, not an airport. And when it was a proper commercial airport it never made money. And there have been NO independent verifiable polls done. Not one.

        • obviously not an airport lover , and never took advantage of having an airport so close to you 30 years ago, KLM left in 2012 and it was an airport then, i never saw people complaining then in their masses and still do not now in fact any opinion poll or vote taken are in favour of an airport , l;et it happen if it fails you can proudly tell everybody i told you so

          • You could make an effort to learn Manston’s history
            KLM left in 2014 after registering an average 43% occupancy. Most times they look for 78% occupancy but KLM had a bribe from KCC to help.
            In 2005 when asked by MORI 73% of those in Thanet had never used the airport, remember this is when Planestation were breaking records

      • Oh dear.
        I’ll consider your points one by one:
        Rubbish.
        Rubbish.
        Wrong
        No
        Wrong.
        Rubbish.

      • There has been just two impartial polls run by recognised pollsters neither one was in favour of Manston.
        2005 Mori Poll where few living in Thanet had even flown from the airport and 2012 when Ramsgate was polled about night flights and 73% said NO.
        So RR when you post try doing your homework

        • but objections poll to actually having an airport atr Manston ? Night flights is not a general objection against the airport. also the Mori poll was again not an objection to an airport at Manston either.

          • And polls to the contrary? Where are they? The validated properly conducted measure of Thanet people’s opinion, showing a majority in favour of Manston?
            Not that it matters.

      • Ramsgate Redident, I quite agree with your comments, but to be fair, I cannot remember the people being asked to go to a voting station to be asked to vote either for or against an airport. And Ramsgate Resident not been a working airport for more than 30 years, or when it was a proper commercial airport. That’s a bit ambiguous.

      • Polls only reflect the opinions of those who voted not all residents – I have not anyone who is 100% in favour, everyone has some reservations or conditions that should be met.

    • Depends on what you mean by airport. Flights to various Mediterranean sites then most would say yes. A 24 hour freight hub with highly mechanised process ( so not many jobs) and thousands of extra lorries on the Thanet Way and you’d probably get a different result

    • A compulsory vote for all the people affected by the possibility of an airport at Manston? That would be some vote. Employees of Heathrow, Gatwick and East Midlands for instance. Also, given the potential volume of planes on the various flight paths pretty much everyone in east Kent would get a say.

    • The Planning Inspector has already said “no”.
      What more do you want?
      If it come to the popular vote, it would lose. When it was open as a passenger airport, it lost huge amounts of money, because the people of Thanet either didn’t fly, or chose to fly from a proper airport.

    • “no ifs or buts.” I recall a politician saying that – David Cameron in fact. Now there’s a good role model.

  12. RSP, SMAA, Roger Gale, or any of the gang couldn’t win at anything 🙂 They wouldn’t even win at snap lol

    • at least one of them wins quite a few things in his every day job oh and Elections as well .

  13. Where are the facts that the people of Thanet didn’t fly from Manston. Please provide the percentages. Also please provide proof it would lose if it come to a popular vote, again percentages please, broken down to each town. Please don’t make assumptions without the facts.

    • The facts that people didn’t fly (very much) from Manston are demonstrable (by proxy) : it lost £100M over the years; it was losing £10K a day when it closed.
      The only “proper” survey carried out was one by TDC when Manston applied to increase night flights, and the result was a resounding “no”.
      All a bit academic, really, because it won’t be down to a popular vote.

        • Yes of course people flew out from Manston, but not in the numbers to make the place viable…
          Stanstead for 2018 shifted close on 28 million. Population of Thanet 142 thousand..

  14. I think given its the first time a DCO has been used to establish Nationally Significant Infrastructure like Manston Airport it would never be a straightforward process. There are too many administrators that know nothing about airports, capacity or demand for different segments of the market. Principally the Planning Inspectorate have been out of their depth. Fortunately the Government has understood the need to bolster aviation infrastructure in the UK. When the land is fully in control by RSP and the kinks have been straightened out Manston will finally become the asset it should be as a Cargo Hub and Passenger airport to Thanet, Kent and the UK.

      • but you have no argument to support your laughter, neither supporters or those that do not support the airport can say if it going to go ahead or it would be a success as a Cargo hub, it would be good though if it was given a chance without a minority saying i dont want it and thats it

      • “God help us” says, “I suspect the SoS was out of his depth as the judge quashed the DCO”. Sorry, Mr/Ms “God help us”: there was no trial of the issues. The judge quashed it at the request of both parties following an agreed statement by the parties was reached prior to the issues being heard in contested trial proceedings. “God help us,” when will you read up!

        • Quite right, Mr Pritchard.
          I can’t remember who it said that DCO’s almost always are approved; that the JR wouldn’t be aporoved; that the JR wouldn’t succeed.
          They were wrong.
          If the SoS and RSP had a leg to stand on, why didn’t they have their day in court?
          Why did the SoS withdraw? (He’d had long enough to pull his case together). Why didn’t RSP fight its corner? Have they no faith in their own application?

          • Andrew, yes, I did say so, and I was right. No consented DCO had ever been subject to a successful challenge by Judicial Review at the time I said that. And as I have noted elsewhere, it was not won by Counsel for the Appellant in this case in any contested hearings. Rather the DCO Decision letter and therefore the DCO statutory instrument was pulled by the Government with the express aim of reconsidering it in order to CLARIFY and STRENGTHEN it on one particular point of the Appellant’s Application for Judicial Review. That was agreed with the Appellant and so the Judicial Review succeeded in quashing the DCO and the Government gets its opportunity to come up with an even stronger Decision Letter. But make no mistake. Those who study these matters closely were quite stunned at how powerfully the original DCO Decision Letter took issue with the Examining Authority’s Report & Recommendation. Such Letters are not usually so robust. But it appears that some advice was afterwards obtained that on a very bad day a single judge just conceivably might be persuaded in court that the section on Need wasn’t as strong as it could and should be. That’s not to say that such an outcome was Probable or even LIKELY. But was IS clear is that the Government didn’t accept that the other two grounds of the Appellant’s case were sound or even arguable at all in law.

    • Here,Here! Trouble is I don’t believe Riveroak actually want to succeed. Like the previous owners they just want to say their application was rejected as an excuse, so they can build houses on it.

      • Oh Mr Pritchard, what shall I do?
        I try to be polite but then
        I read something written by you.

        It’s full of pompous phrases,
        Exaggerations galore-
        Oh, Mr. Pritchard, we
        Have read it all before!

        (And not just by you.)

  15. The proof that people didn’t use Manston was the fact it never made money and went bust three times. If it should ever reopen it will go bust again for the same reasons it did before, the reasons the DCO examiners recommended refusal on so many issues. In case people haven’t noticed established regional airports are in deep financial trouble so who in their right mind would invest in Manston ?

          • Yes Paul
            KLM ran at 43% capacity for the time they ran a daily service to Schipol. They came because they were bribed by KCC.
            Not sure why you think that was a success and I suspect they were glad it closed. No business can make a profit from 43% capacity most need 78%

  16. So what do you need to be a profitable airport.

    Has Manston got

    1, good location = N0
    2, good road infrastructure = NO
    3, good rail infrastructure = NO
    4, on the National Fuel Grid = NO
    5, A proven profitable track record = NO
    6, Lots of spare capacity at over airport = YES
    7, What major haulage company is relocating to manston = None.
    8, What major importer is moving to manston ( like Amazon ) = None.

    Manston has gone bust every time it’s been in private hands.
    Manston was kept afloat as an RAF base by tax payers money.

  17. An Airport is far better than housing. Jobs far better for the economy. Every one I speak to want’s an Airport.
    Get real if you care about Ramsgate !

    • Oddly enough, everyone I speak to is against the airport. Not that it’s a voting matter. (Labour got the majority at TDC: they made quite clear they were anti airport).
      As for jobs, the PI, in turning down the DCO, pointed out that if the airport were to go ahead, many more jobs would be lost from hospitality and tourism than gained from a few fork lift drivers shifting the occasional pallet of daffs onto the electric barges.

      • Phylis Quot: Labour didn’t get the majority at TDC: they are a minority Administration and are kept in power at present because the Labour position on the Airport will not and cannot prevail.
        There are currently 25 Conservative; 18 Labour; 6 Thanet Independents; 3 Green, 2 Independents and 2 vacant seats on Thanet District Council. The Conservatives and the Thanet Independent Group are strongly pro-Manston.

        • Mr Pritchard: why, in the face of overwhelming evidence from experts left right and centre are the Tory and ex-UKIP councillors in favour of a polluting and environmentally damaging blight on Ramsgate?
          Hate? A vendetta? Sadism?

  18. The 4 Examining Inspectors were (obviously) experts in their field.
    They took evidence, over a year, from a variety of sources, not least Louise Congdon of York Aviation. She broadly upheld the view held by other Aviation Experts (Falcon, Altitude, Avia, Davies Commission) that commercial aviation at Manston wouldn’t work.
    As to the Government understanding the need for aviation: the SoS’s bizarre decision to overturn the PI’s decision was challenged by a JR; the SoS capitulated, and RSP declined to defend their case.
    The land is owned outright be RSP. SHP sold it to them a couple of years ago.

    • Andrew, have you taken on board the fact that the four members of the Examining Authority applied the wrong test when it came to Need? Have you noted that Louise Congdon doesn’t meet the tests set out in Guidance to Examiners on what is necessary to be classed as an “Expert” in the subject matter on which she gave evidence during the Manston Airport DCO Examination but that Dr. Sally Dixon most definitely does? Have you looked at the terms of reference and contractual obligations laid down by TDC when commissioning the Avia Report and seen how little time its subcontracted author had to prepare it and why RiverOak could not reasonably disclose to him any confidential information that might reasonably have been required to produce a report upon which reliance could be placed? Have you seen and considered the late Cllr. Peter Campbell’s totally inappropriate “Due Diligence Protocol” produced at the end of 2014 for TDC and in the light of the DCO process (by comparison only), considered how absurd it was to expect RiverOak to make their case to TDC for their original proposals within the three minutes afforded to RiverOak’s then legal representative? That farce, fortunately for all of us, led RiverOak to switch to the DCO project instead. Even opponents of the Airport revival will concede that TDC lacked the ability to assess any of RiverOak’s development plans adequately. Did you understand that Stone Hill Park’s questions put to Dr. Sally Dixon at Discovery Park in a very quiet voice were inaudible to her and thus confusing, as Stone Hill Park’s Counsel knew would be the case after having been told she was then suffering from a hearing complaint and needed questions put to her to be delivered clearly and loudly enough for her to understand? Perhaps you think such antics are perfectly fair and appropriate! In the aftermath of that, however, Cris Caine of Northpoint Aviation (who unlike Louise Congdon does meet the necessary tests to be regarded as an “expert authority” on the subject matter at issue, fully supported Dr. Dixon’s work and shredded Louise Congdon’s submissions during the afternoon session that same day at the Discovery Park hearings.

  19. Manston has and will always be an airport, to think it will become housing estate is unthinkable. What’s underneath most of the site is tunnels, no way of providing water to the site for housing either. If housing is going to happen then prices will be out of reach for locals and will become London getto overflow. Still no jobs created just more people to drain TDC of cash so council tax will probably double to maintain a less than poor service. So all you anti airport supporters better have deep pockets of cash to get the housing you want, even though housing is not needed as plenty of space in Thanet already if old sites are reused and not green belt land. We need are field’s for food more than ever and surely you would rather eat then look at unwanted housing. Ramsgate you killed of the docks after new roads built to take traffic out of town now you want manston to fail. You can’t have it all your own way, but if you get it then you should pay over the odds in council tax to cover the loss Thanet as a whole will have to pay to keep you happy. Why should the rest of Thanet have to pay the price for your selfish behaviour. Airport was here before you and hopefully we’ll after your gone.

    • Chris: you’re arguing against yourself!
      You may have noticed that lots of houses are being built anyway. But, instead of a fair number going on the brownfield ex-airport site (because Councillors passed a rubbish Local Plan) the houses are instead being built on the very green fields you say we need for food.
      The argument the “antis” have is just that. They simply don’t want an airport. Houses, water supply, traffic congestion, jobs don’t come into it.

    • Have you been in a cave cut off from news since 2018?
      I ask because the 2500 houses allocated to create that so called sink estate (not my words you understand but those in love with planes) were moved out of the local plan and are now being built by Millwood on agricultural land next to Birchington and Westgate.
      It’s just like a broken record on here when the same out of date crap is recycled

    • What Government should do is to put the matter to an independent entity, maybe led by a retired judge or such like. That entity should carry out detailed research as to where the UK should add capacity for aviation and they could hear expert opinion from the industry and other stakeholders. The government should then accept those findings and act upon them. You could call it the Davies Commission (or something like that).

      • but but the people want to see planes fly
        They aren’t bothered by experts they are still fighting WW2
        Who needs a profit when you have all them luverley planes?
        yes it is sarcasm

      • Thought there has been an independent inquiry into manston and every one said manston is a no go’er. The only person who thought it was , was a junior minster with no experience of airports lol

  20. As always Manston news gets a bit hairy when it comes to moderation. As I am now logging off for the evening (Easter dinner, a glass of wine) I am going to turn off commenting until the morning when I will switch it back on. Have a good evening everyone.

  21. See we are still getting the same old we don’t want houses it’s always been an airport argument. Firstly the houses are being built but instead of on Manston they are being built on greenfield sites. When will some people get that it won’t stop house building, have a look round Birchington etc. Secondly Manston shut nearly 7 years ago and was there a crisis in aviation or runway capacity to n the uk ? No, the truth is nobody really noticed as it was dead on its feet anyway. As for having an independent enquiry isn’t that what the DCO examination process was ?? Not one single aviation expert said it was viable except Silly Dixon who is employed by RSP and even she couldn’t say what their business plan was and if it would be economically viable. It’s failed three times and will continue to fail for the same reasons again it’s really time to move on and try something new

    • Ian Scott, I suggest you read the entirety of Dr. Sally Dixon’s expert analysis of the socio-economic impact of the Airport. It was never her brief to set out RiverOak’s business plan, which is not something that comes within the remit of anyone but RiverOak and their investors and is commercially in confidence. If you were to look for a business plan in documentation submitted to other DCO projects, you would look in vain. How, for instance, would you do it for ANY of the other Transport or any of the Energy DCO Projects? How would you do it for Waste Water or Carbon Capture Storage DCOs? What your posting suggests is your pig ignorance about any of this.

      • Strange that a well-educated man can be so enthusiastic about RSP’s desire to open a busy, successful cargo hub airport next to a town of 40,000 inhabitants. You’d think he would know about the pollution caused by aviation.

        But perhaps he is “pig ignorant” about the environmental damage such an airport would cause.

      • I watched, with jaw-dropping astonishment, Dr Sally Dixon’s “expert analysis” being dismantled, bit by bit, at a presentation to KCC a couple of years ago.
        The operation was carried out by Louise Congdon of York Aviation: a real expert working for a real aviation company.
        I spoke to Dr Dixon at one of RSP’s “consultation”. She confirmed to me that an important part of Manston’s business would be importing pallets of daffs from Holland.
        I’ll not hold my breath.

      • John, I suggest you read the Health Impact Assessment produced by RSP and then consider the cost-benefit analysis, at 20 years, of the vanity project you seem keen to support.
        Happy to help you, in case you dont have any skills in the area.

  22. I forgot to add the SOS could not back up his decision to pass the DCO against the examiners overwhelming recommendation to refuse hence the successful quashing of the DCO. He took nine months to take that decision and couldn’t back it up. He had no evidence whatsoever. What excuse could he possibly come up with now to pass it again given the crisis aviation is in. Even established airports and airlines are in dire financial trouble and are likely to go under. Perhaps the IOTN could ask RSP how they are going to fund this sparkling new airport ?

    • Clearly, Ian Scott, you haven’t read the Decision Letter, nor taken the time to compare it with Decision Letters on other DCO projects, particularly Transport ones.

  23. Judging by all the hoops RSP have to jump through and the restrictions on flying over Ramsgate. If Heathrow and Gatwick had not yet been built they would never gain approval today. Perhaps the CAA should consider the reductions in traffic over London if all that freight traffic comes into Manston instead. The population of London is 8 million, what’s the population of Ramsgate?

    • So all the logistics companies are going to up sticks, leave well established infrastructure to move somewhere miles away from where they want to be and increase their costs ??

    • would make no difference to London Allan as they operate a bellyhold freight on Pax flights. No cargo will move to Manston as it would be more expensive

  24. Belief in this shower of incompetence is preposterous. Who would have faith in their safety record when they can’t even submit a competent document?

    Something smells really wrong here.

  25. God help us. You said “They came because they were bribed by KCC”. That’s a serious accusation. It would be interesting if you could post some proof of that.

    • Have a chat to KCC as they used their funds to support KLM. I believe its called an incentive
      I do find it strange that you know naff all about Manston

      • Glad you changed it from “bribed” to “incentive”. It’s a huge difference. With vastly different consequences.

        • RSP’s donation to a local tree-planting group was an unexpected incentive to improve Thanet’s landscape and air quality. There’s no doubt about that.

  26. I don’t know why people keep going on about having a vote on it or appointing a judge to decide. That point has long gone. The site is privately owned and the proposed airport is to be privately funded. It’s up to RSP to obtain planning permission and to meet the requirements of the relative authorities. But they have failed at every hurdle. Maybe they aren’t competent enough.

  27. Failed, failed, failed ! The history of this airfield is being ruined by a bunch of fools who think they can succeed with little money against all odds in today’s climate.
    All they are succeeding in is blighting Thanet year after year and causing the thousands of homes developments to be built on our greenfields and agricultural land which is losing it’s green corridors between the towns. They have no love for Thanet as all they care about is having a huge polluting freight hub.

    We are looked upon as dinosaurs by much of the population who are fascinated with a few supporters and the two MP’s holding Thanet back in it’s past. MP’s who are supposed to look after their constituents not business friends.

    If there was really a hope in hell of an airport being successful in this corner of England then it would have been up and running many years ago. All the facts say otherwise and it’s ridiculous that this flogging a dead horse is still entertained by another fool, the SOS Grant Shapps. His predecessor failing Grayling was a fool and with the port ships saga, we have another with the airhub planes saga.

  28. I don’t think Kathy Bailes should censor free speech as long as it’s not offensive regardless of what side one is on.

  29. The “maze of tunnels” under the airport site are just an urban myth. Everyone seems to know someone who knows they exist but no one has ever proved their existence. There is no documentary evidence or photos of them anywhere.

    A ground-penetrating survey carried out when the site is turned into housing in the future will clarify this.

    • People confuse the ‘underground hangars, Royal Observer Post and small air raid shelters with “huge systems of tunnels”…. and if people are using it as an excuse for not building houses should look at RSPs plans and how much of the site they are saying they are going to build on !!

  30. People in positions of responsibility need to be accountable to the electorate for the decisions they make. Way back in 1998, when the MoD decided to vacate Manston decisions were made. Without asking their constituents, Thanet District Council decided that it should remain an airport. Had they decided that it should be marketed to interested parties you might by now have had a thriving business park, a large factory or even a theme park on the site, employing thousands of people. Instead, Thanet has had to put up with over 20 years of abject failure: The failure to invest and develop the site; The failure to deliver a fraction of the jobs which were promised; The failure to consult local people over the likely environmental impact. It’s high time a line was drawn under this fiasco. Thanet District Council should have the good sense to recognise that Manston has no future as an airport, particularly under RSP which has no experience of developing or running one. People clearly don’t want housing on the site. In any case, the Council has already allocated the housing which could have gone on Manston to greenfield sites elsewhere in the Isle. No point in complaining about this now. The decision to build on green fields instead was made when plans for housing, submitted by the previous owners of Manston, were rejected. Ultimately, the two MPs and all of those councillors who backed the airport over many years are personally responsible the current situation. I know they won’t do it but they should resign because of the damage they have caused to Thanet. They took decisions and they took the wrong decisions. No point in complaining that nobody could have known that it would all end in tears. Many, many people were warning of this throughout, including professional consultancies. Time for a reckoning and time those who’ve milked this issue to boost their personal stature, were held to account.

  31. Seems to me that Manston is a relentless ego pursuit by some, cheer leaded by others who should know better. A pet project based on failure, which strange and weird support on high for no obvious nor evidence based reasoning. The whole saga is an absurd embarrassment of what happens to a small rural pocket of coastal England when a vocal minority want to live out their personal aviation pipe-dream of waving at a cargo plane pilot every 15 minutes and thinking it’s the good old days of a job for life at the end of your garden path. Thanet needs good employment prospects, good commercial support and decent investment but anyone who believes the jobs lies made up numbers of RSP is being sold a fib.

    In reality, support is all about preventing housing. Which in itself is absurd because of course, houses are coming. Cargo hub or no cargo hub.

    Thanet, especially Ramsgate, and our environment, deserves so much better.

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