Viability study on Manston Airport

Thanet District Council are undertaking a viability study on Manston Airport to inform the emerging Local Plan.


TDC have just published the brief for this report, which is being undertaken by Avia Solutions, on it’s website.


From the brief;-


“The Task The Council requires an independent assessment advising whether or not it is possible to run a viable and economically sustainable free-standing airport operation from Manston.

The Council is seeking advice from an independent expert aviation consultant who can make this assessment within the context of the national and international air traffic market, the viability of Airport operations at a national and international scale and likely future developments in airport operations.

This should be based on a clear understanding of the nature of international air travel and transport and the way in which it is likely to develop over the next 15-20 years; the economics of airport operations; and the national and international context for the Manston Airport site.

The work should conclude whether or not it is possible to run a viable and economically sustainable airport operation from Manston, assessing the work that has been carried out previously, and carrying out an independent assessment of potential options for a viable airport.

The previous work to be considered should include: The findings of the Davis Airports Commission, as applicable; · House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on smaller airports; · Documents relating to the process of seeking an indemnity partner for the Airport; · Previous Council decisions in relation to a potential CPO partnership with RiverOak; · The previous Falcon Consulting report; · Conclusions of the “soft market” testing undertaken by the Council in January 2016; · Representations made to the draft Local plan in respect of Manston Airport; · The Existing Use statement submitted by GVA Planning as part of the planning application to redevelop the site as a mixed-use development, and any other relevant information submitted as part of that application; · Any relevant publicly available information in relation to a potential Development Control Order for the site; and · Any other material that the Consultants consider is relevant to the assessment.


Set out below are matters which the Council considers this work should cover. However, we require expert advice from the consultant in order to develop a robust methodology for this work. Work should specifically cover: · The national and international aviation market context for, and the economic potential for, a range of Airport activities at the site, in particular freight and passenger operations, and including short haul aircraft and private aviation · An assessment of all available markets for ancillary airport operations which could take place at the airport · An assessment of the suitability of the location of the Airport in relation to the above factors

Work should consider the need for: · Demand/forecast modeling · 25 year cash flow of income against costs, under different potential scenarios – using best, mid and worst assumptions · Other relevant operational/financial information Work should also take account of: · Current Section 106 agreement Thanet District Council 4 / 8 / 2016 p 6 | · Relevant plans and strategies · Governments’ current and emerging position regarding aviation · The potential for a new railway station being built in close proximity to the airport within the next 5-7 years – likely to reduce journey times to London to an hour · Infrastructure investment required · Consideration of history of operations at the airport If it is concluded that there is potential for a viable and economically sustainable airport to operate from Manston, the work should also include commentary on the scale of the viable operation, including activity levels, employment levels, and likely land requirements.”


“The Council has a very tight deadline for the completion of the work, and proposes the following timescales. ·

Inception meeting w/c 4th July 2016.  Completion of work within 6 weeks of inception meeting. ”

Interesting times.

Kind Regards,

Ruth Bailey

07956 376907

Thanet District Council

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