The Court of Appeal has dismissed the application from Miss J Dawes to appeal against the Manston Airport Development Consent Order (DCO) decision, paving the way for work to begin to reopen the airport as a state-of-the-art cargo hub – more than ten years after it closed its doors.

Following the Court of Appeal hearing in April, which considered the decision to dismiss an application for judicial review of the Development Consent Order, Lord Justice Jackson, Lord Justice Lewis and Lord Justice Warby have today (21 May 2024) published their decision which denies the appeal.

This means that the DCO remains granted, as announced by the Department for Transport in August 2022, and work can now begin to transform Manston and recruit staff both for the construction phase and for operational roles once the airport is ready to reopen.

Tony Freudmann, Director of airport owners RSP, expressed his thanks for the overwhelming support of local people and stakeholders through the process and his relief at a conclusion to a planning process which has cost millions of pounds of public and private sector money – and taken seven years to resolve.

“We have always remained confident in our proposals and unshaken in our belief that we can create something very special at Manston which delivers both important capacity for UK air freight – and a sustainable economic boost for East Kent,” he said. “It’s time to turn our plans into reality.”

“Although the past seven years have been intensely frustrating at times, the fact that we have gone all the way to the Court of Appeal means no stone has been left unturned in the examination of our proposals. We can now deliver our plans knowing with certainty that we have demonstrated, beyond question, that Manston has a vital role to play in addressing the airspace capacity issues blighting London and Southeast – and that this historic and strategically important airport can reinvent itself once again to meet the nation’s needs in the global marketplace.”

It is anticipated that detailed planning, construction, recruitment and the completion of the airspace change project will now take three years in total to complete – with the airport ready to receive flights in 2027.