RiverOak applies for Manston airport reopening

US hedge fund RiverOak has made a pre-application inquiry to UK planning inspectors for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to reopen Manston airport in the south-east of the country, primarily as a freight gateway.
The UK’s Planning inspectorate confirmed that it had received a pre-application inquiry from RiverOak in early January. The developers are expected to submit a full application in late 2016.
The move comes after a RiverOak team met members of the Planning Inspectorate in on January 5, where they revealed plans to reopen the Kent airport as a "sky port and integrated aviation services hub", handling at least 12,000 movements per year.
Manston was closed by then owners Stagecoach transport operator Ann Gloag in 2014, in a move that was widely criticised by the air cargo industry.
On its website, RiverOak states: "Following a successful CPO, the focus will be on re-establishing the airport’s cargo business, particularly on perishable cargo, which successfully represented Manston’s core business for several years prior to its closure.
"Perishables are considered by the aviation industry to be the most rapidly growing airfreight sector and Manston Airport is ideally suited, geographically and with the physical infrastructure of a long runway, hangars and space for development, to cope with virtually any level of demand."
It continues: "We also plan to build up to five new hangars offering extensive capability for aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul operations (MRO) and aircraft recycling.
"A number of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have already expressed a keen interest in having a facility there."
RiverOak also has longer terms plans to consider adding passenger services, "focusing on both routes to leisure destinations as well as number of scheduled business routes".

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