Manston checks in for Olympic challenge

With its ability to handle all but the largest commercial aircraft, as well as corporate jets, Manston Airport is preparing itself for a major increase in air traffic after being identified by the Government as important to the efficient delivery of the London 2012 Games.

Manston is one of a number of South East airports identified in the Airports Slot Allocation (Amendment) Regulations 2011, which came into force on the 1st August 2011.

Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “The Government, and Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, has rightly recognised that there will be massive demand and therefore pressure on the already congested airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

“With a runway longer than of any of the airports in the list, including Luton and Birmingham, and all the other airports in the South East, Manston is able to handle Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s. Whether the planes are carrying passengers or freight, Manston is perfectly placed to welcome visitors and athletes to the UK.

“During the recent visit of The Open to Kent we welcomed small and large aircraft, carrying competitors, officials and spectators, and this experience will stand us ingood stead for the impending Olympics.”

The new regulations will temporarily amend the existing regulations to provide new powers to ensure that during the Games period the available air space capacity over the South East of England will be able to accommodate the maximum possible number of extra flights, while minimising the risk of disruption or delay to existing services.

As a result Manston is one of the region’s airports designated as ‘temporarily coordinated’ alongside Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and London City, in terms of slot allocations for the period: 21st July 2012 to 15th August 2012.

During the period of the Games, all flights operating in controlled UK airspace, and intending to use a coordinated airport will need to obtain, and operate in accordance with, pre-booked take-off or landing slots. Slots will be allocated by Airport Coordination Ltd, the existing UK slot coordinator, in accordance with the relevant EU Regulation.

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