Manston Airport - the controversial tragedy.

Talks to discuss the future of Manston Airport collapsed as politicians from all parties walked out in protest of a meeting held at Thanet District Council. The meeting was convened in order to discuss proposals for a way forward on the highly contentious issue of the airport's future, with details of the Compulsory Purchase Order, that those desperate for it's reopening are seeking, expected to be discussed.

Instead, the meeting lasted only five minutes with only vague suggestions on possible alternatives to the 2500 homes that is proposed for the future, on what is now known as Stone Hill Park. The meeting broke down with politicians citing party politics and spin as barriers to a successful discussion.

The closure of Manston Airport in 2014 is an emotive issue, not just for those that work there but for the majority of the local community, with over 90% of the public being in support of the re-opening of the airport. Sadly this breakdown of talks does them no favours in bolstering support in an attempt to rescue the historic site from it's fate as another UK airport closed for development.

Instead of squabbling politicians, what the airport needs is some unity from those in positions of power so they can recognise not only it's value to the local community but also it's contribution to the economy through it's Cargo customers and it's wider symbolism as a bastion of the country's dwindling number of airports.

With many smaller airfields under attack in Britain and it's aviation industry under serious threat, the last thing it needs is bigger enterprises like Manston suffering a fate of disinterest from those capable of saving it. The site's closure has already lead to a potentially lucrative contract moving to Lydd in the form of the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter, and the airport's closure has presented almost prohibitive problems to logistics carriers routing through the UK.

With a number of individuals stepping forward showing interest to purchase the site and with a strong mandate to ensure the site is actively saved, Thanet District Council need to unify on the issue and instead of walking out of what could be progressive meetings, come together to figure out a way to reinstate a historically successful airport, and carve a place for it's future in a world that will only depend on air transport more and more.

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