Home ... Letters ... Mansion supporters are deaf to the truth

Mansion supporters are deaf to the truth

MYRA Jones dared to mention one of the few good things to result from Manston’s closure — less noise pollution over the Garden of England (Peace cornet to Herne Bay at last, Your views, May28). The abusive witch hunt directed at her in the letters the following week is typical of the bullying tactics of the Manston fan club. I’ve campaigned against night flights at Manston for the past five years, and I have also been subjected to a stream of abuse, and even anonymous threats. Rather than sinking to their level, I would like to remind the pro-Manston gang of some home truths.

• Mansion is perfectly sited for a military airfield (which is why it’s there), but badly sited for a commercial airport. There are too few people in the catchment area to support a passenger airport, and too few businesses to support a freight airport. This is why the Davies Commission on Aviation in the South East has completely ignored it, and why…
• Manston hasn’t made a penny profit in the 15 years since it was sold into private hands. Infratil, the previous owners, bought it for £17m, and lost £3-4m a year, every year for the seven years they owned it. Successive failed passenger services made it painfully clear that it’s simply not commercially viable, which is why…
• Manston was on the market for 18 months without attracting a buyer, despite being advertised globally. All the industry experts who got a good look at the books could see it was a non-starter, which is why…
• Ann Gloag paid just £1 for it. When something that size sells for £1, it’s not because the seller is feeling generous — it’s because it’s an economic basket-case. Now that she owns it, it’s entirely down to Ann Gloag what happens to Mansion. She’s under no obligation to run it as an airport losing £10k a day, which is why…
• The staff have been made redundant. They have my sympathy through redundancy myself, and I know it’s no joke. Infratil always promised thousands of jobs at Mansion, but never delivered. After seven years of ownership, and more than £20m of feather-bedding, there were “144 mostly part-time staff’ according to the BBC. That has to be the worst job creation scheme in Kent, ever. Manston has failed as an airport. The Manston lobby should stop being rude to everyone, and start trying to persuade Ann Gloag to include job creation opportunities in her plans.

Phil Rose,
Herne Bay

Herne Bay Times, June 25th 2014

Check Also

Ann Gloag named on Sunday Times Rich List 2015

Businesswoman Ann Gloag, who closed Manston airport last May has been named on the Sunday Times …