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About Manston Airport

A history of aviation, 100 years in the making

In the winter of 1915-16, early aircraft used the fields between Minster and Manston as a site for emergency landings. In response, the Admiralty Aerodrome was opened at Manston.

During WWII, Manston Airport was used as a forward base by many squadrons, due to its proximity to the continent. It was frequently attacked and heavily bombed during the Battle of Britain.

In the late 80s, the site was transferred to private ownership, and various owners and airlines attempted to make the airport profitable, all failing because of a lack of investment in the site, in advertising and in the surrounding infrastructure.

The site is currently owned by RiverOak Strategic Partners, who have purchased it for Aviation use for £16.5 million from Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag, who purchased it for a nominal sum of £1.

Promising to keep the airport open for two years, she closed it six months later, leading to the loss of 150 jobs. In partnership with two northern businessmen, she had plans to demolish the site and replace it with housing and a “mixed-use development”.

More information on Manston Airport’s history can be found on Wikipedia.

“…various owners and airlines… all failing because of a lack of investment…”

Name: Manston Airport



Runway: 10/28 

Length: 9,016ft (2,748m)

Material: Asphalt/Concrete

Elevation: 178ft ASL (54m)

Passenger Movements: 

2004-2009: 348,000
2010: 26,000
2011: 37,000
2012: 8,000
2013: 40,000
2014: 12,000

Ownership History: 

1916-1999: Ministry of Defence (in different guises)
1999-2005: Wiggins Group Plc
2005-2013: Infratil
2013-2017: Highland and Global Transport Ltd
2017-2019: Gloag Investments Group Ltd
2019-present RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd.

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