Decision on Manston’s cargo hub plans delayed

By Damian Brett

A decision on whether to approve plans to develop Manston Airport in the UK into a cargo hub has been delayed by the UK government.

Parliamentary under secretary for transport, Nusrat Ghani, announced that an inquiry into the plans – due any day now – would be extended until May 18.

The airport developed, RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), had applied to build the cargo hub under a Development Consent Order (DCO), which are granted to projects of national importance.

RSP said in a statement: “While frustrating, the delay is not unexpected – the last five decisions on DCO applications have all been delayed and none have yet been made.

“Undoubtedly, the recent general election, ongoing Brexit process and significant infrastructure workload for which the government is responsible have also played a part.

“RSP has not received any additional questions from the minister, as part of the deliberation process, to date – but stand ready to respond, should there be any requests for additional information needed to reach a final decision. The delay does not affect the current Civil Aviation Authority airspace change consultation process, which is entirely separate from the DCO.”

The examination and decision stage can both take a maximum of six months.

The proposed Manston Airport plan involves the development of an airfreight and cargo facility with the capacity to handle more than 10,000 air transport movements of cargo aircraft per year as part of the provision of air cargo transport services.

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