MANSTON: A fresh start

Can the new owners of Manston Airport succeed where others have failed? RiverOak director, Tony Freudmann, tells Tom Allett how the company plans to relaunch the dormant airfield

At the height of its cargo operations, Manston – Kent International Airport – handled around 44,000 tons of air cargo annually. Here, a Cargolux Boeing 747-400F, LX-WCV (c/n 35804), is photographed at the site shortly before the airfield’s closure in 2014
All Images via Mick Dodsworth unless stated

After a five-year struggle, efforts to reopen Manston Airport on the southeast tip of England received a major boost in July when the UK government approved a £300m development plan. Ironically, the ‘green light’ for the airport’s revival has coincided with the commercial aviation industry’s struggle to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, but the Kent facility’s owners believe air cargo provides a way forward.

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