The emergency faced by a Virgin Airways aircraft landed at Gatwick with consequent disruption to other traffic has proved once again the need to reinstate Manston as an operating airport and major diversion field says North Thanet's MP, Sir Roger Gale.
In a high- level appeal to Ministers sir Roger has stressed once again the importance of Manston not only in the interests of the local economy but as a national asset.
"RiverOak, the company that wishes to buy and operate Manston via a TDC compulsory purchase order, submitted all of its confidential papers to Government, as agreed, prior to Christmas" says the MP "and I hope and expect that Thanet Council will have done likewise. It is imperative that the Department of Transport, which is leading on the issue, now swiftly evaluates the case in order that any shortcomings can be addressed and so that Thanet can instigate the necessary CPO process.
In the case of the Virgin Boeing 747 the pilot averted a potential disaster but the need for a significant diversion facility in the South East, away from major hub airports, is crystal clear and we need to get on with this before it is too late"