Wednesday, 4 February 2009

MORE VISITS FOR AIRPORT WORKING PARTY

Thanet district Council press release

Two more airport visits have been carried out by the group looking at the draft masterplan for Kent International Airport at Manston.

The Manston Airport Working Party is helping to draw up the council’s response to the document and so far members of the group have visited airports at Prestwick, which is also owned by Infratil, the owners of Kent International Airport, Southend, Norwich, Bristol and Bournemouth. At each of these airports, the group have also made contact with the local planning authorities.

Research is also underway regarding Doncaster Robin Hood Airport, which is a former military airport, now with significant cargo and passenger flights.

Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “I’m very pleased with the work of the Manston Airport Working Party to date. They’ve been exceptionally thorough in the investigations they’ve undertaken so far and I’m sure that the their final report will be exceptionally useful in helping the council to respond to the Airport’s draft Masterplan.”

Cllr. Mike Harrison, Chairman of the Manston Airport Working Party, said: “It’s been a very interesting process and we have got lots and lots of information so far. We will be reviewing all the sites that we’ve visited to date elsewhere in the country, but already we’ve been able to prove a lot of things that we had all suspected. One example is the role that airports have to play in creating jobs. It’s also been fascinating to see the different approaches of the various airports we’ve visited.”

The Working Party will be reporting its findings back to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel in March, with further reports then going to Cabinet and Council in April.

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