Freight boost at Manston

Manston Airport’s ability to attract freight operators has been given a boost with the appointment of an experienced freight development manager.

Allan McQuarrie, 46, joined Infratil in 2007 and until recently, has been based at their airport in Prestwick, Glasgow.

Having moved to Margate, Allan will now be based at Manston, Kent, full time, concentrating on encouraging cargo operators to use the airport for chartered and scheduled flights.

Allan McQuarrie, Group Manager Freight Development for both airports, said: “I see a huge future for Manston which was part of my reason for moving here. Many freight carriers are looking for an airport that is near to London and Manston has some key selling points that are difficult to rival.

“There is no congestion so there will never be a situation where an aircraft is circling for an hour. Our dedicated team on the ground can turn a 747 round in around 90 minutes with freight being loaded straight into a lorry rather than a warehouse to be moved at a later date – this can often add an extra day to a product’s shelf life. At some airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick, the turn around time can be up to four hours which is obviously less attractive for operators.”

Originally from Zimbabwe but UK-based since 1984, Allan has worked in air cargo since leaving school and has experience as a freight forwarder, as well as working for airlines such as Air UK and now airports.

“Having had experience in all areas of air cargo I have a very good idea of what the customer is looking for,” continued Allan. “Manston’s proximity to London with easy access to the UK’s motorway network is a huge selling point. Being based within easy reach of the Channel ports, and therefore Europe, is also an advantage.”

Manston’s Master Plan shows the airport handling 167,000 tonnes of freight by 2018. Recent independent research by York Aviation, a leading aviation consultancy, shows that these levels are achievable, provided a managed and limited Night-time Flying Policy is implemented as submitted to Thanet District Council recently.

Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive Officer of Manston, said: “Our investment in Allan’s role is a very important one for the airport as its long term success depends on attracting airlines here. As well as researching prospective customers, he will attend trade shows around the world to speak to anyone that could make use of Manston and spreading the message of the economic potential of East Kent.”

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