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RiverOak Strategic Partners

Avia Solutions report for Thanet Council ‘irrelevant’ and ‘thin on evidence’ says RiverOak

Published on October 5th, 2016

RiverOak will be continuing to develop its exciting plans for Manston Airport given that Avia Solutions “does not offer any opinion about the reasonableness or otherwise of RiverOak’s commercial plans for the airport” making their report irrelevant. *

The report is also extremely thin when it comes to evidence on freight demand.  The only ‘forecast’ they rely on is in fact a statement of freight volumes from 2000-2012, when it is widely accepted that there is a considerable and growing level of unsatisfied demand. The report bases its freight projections on a continuation of the current levels of growth and ignores the ample evidence from at least eight respected studies by the likes of Transport for London, the Centre for Economic and Business Research, Boeing and Oxford Economics, that air freight traffic levels in the UK are severely constrained due to the lack of runway capacity and there is enough demand to satisfy not only a thriving Manston in the future but also, in due course, a third runway at Heathrow too.

On the basis of conducting just four interviews on freight, two of which were positive, Avia concludes that ‘there is limited interest from the cargo industry in using a re-opened Manston Airport for air freight’.  In contrast RiverOak’s own consultant has carried out 17 interviews and counting, all positive, the results of which will be published in due course. We therefore recommend that Thanet Council waits to see the evidence that forms part of our application before reaching any conclusions on the viability of Manston Airport as a cargo hub.

RiverOak Investments will also publish a more detailed response to the Avia Solutions report in due course.

*Footnote 2 of the Avia Solutions report

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