Recently the UK Government approved plans to develop Manston Airport in Kent as an air cargo hub. The plans include an investment of £500m at the airport from the Department of Transport.

The owners of the site, RiverOak Strategic Partners said it received a Development Consent Order. A spokesman for the company commented, “This air cargo hub will help provide much needed airfreight capacity in the South East. It will help alleviate long term overcrowding in the London airport system and ease road congestion caused by lorries carrying the freight through the channel tunnel to European airports.”

The planned building project will be carbon net zero. In line with the UK Government’s decarbonisation goals. Surveys, master planning and design will commence in the next few weeks. Construction hoping to start in 2023. From here the airport operating its first cargo services in early 2025.

An RAF base at Manston Airport has been used periodically for charter and passenger flights. The runway however did not support large aircraft and the airport has historically suffered from underuse in the face of competition from other UK airports.

Bournemouth Airport has also been investing in an air cargo hub recently. The aim of becoming an alternative to London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

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