After more than five long years of detailed scrutiny, RSP is delighted to confirm that it has finally received the redetermined Development Consent Order, from the Department for Transport, for its plans to invest up to £500 million in the potential of Manston Airport, in Kent. The DCO will make it possible for RSP to provide much needed air freight capacity in the South East, help alleviate long term overcrowding in the London airport system and ease road congestion caused by lorries carrying freight through the channel tunnel to European airports.

As aviation propositions go, Manston is unique – because it will be built to be Carbon Net Zero from scratch, enabling us to demonstrate to the Government how it can deliver on its commitment to grow the aviation sector, whilst still meeting its decarbonisation targets.

It will also represent a flagship levelling-up project, providing much needed economic and employment stimulus to one of the UK’s most deprived areas, creating over 23,000 jobs across East Kent and the wider national economy by the airport’s 20th year of operation. Alongside the work needed to return Manston to operational status, RSP will now accelerate its local procurement programme and partnership work with a wide range of business, education, training and local authority organisations, to ensure local people and local businesses can derive tangible economic, employment and investment benefits from a revived Manston Airport.

RSP Director Tony Freudmann paid tribute to the steadfast support of local people and leaders across East Kent in helping to deliver this decision.

Today is a day to celebrate the culmination of years of campaigning. I would like to pay tribute to the extraordinary army of Manston Airport supporters who have never given up hope of seeing new life breathed into this historic aviation asset.  And I would also like to thank our two dedicated local MPs, Sir Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay, as well as the thousands of supporters who have supported us from the start of the DCO process and have long shared our bold and ambitious vision for the airport.”

Surveys, detailed master planning and design work will commence in the next few weeks. Construction will begin later next year, with the Airport operating its first cargo services in early 2025.