Interesting one this, I believe Ann Gloag Scotland’s richest woman and by all accounts no fool.
My take on the recent commercial history of Manston is that Infratil who are now selling the airport, just didn’t understand the logistics of southern England and viewed Manston’s distance to London and the M25 as though it was in the antipodes, where distances and airport logistics are completely different.
Obviously while Manston was the ideal site for a first world war airbase due to it’s proximity to Europe and the limited range of early aircraft, it doesn’t make an obvious air transport hub.
Since Manson was opened up for civil operations in April 1959 it has a history of different firms failing to run it as a profitable concern. I think the key here has been the airport’s catchment are, mostly sea and there being two major hub airports too close.
So why an astute UK billionaire would buy Manston which is currently loss making to the tune of millions a year, begs some interesting questions.
Will the current boss stay?
Is this the first sage in an asset stripping strategy?
Will the airport now become much busier?
For me the main question though is: Now the airport is in the hands of someone who wants it rather than someone who is trying to get rid of it, will they do the work agreed with The Environment Agency to make it environmentally compliant?
Any one a bit lost on that front, here is the post I did when they pulled out of getting an EP (environmental permit) http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/kent-international-airport-at-manston_10.html