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Logistics UK “delighted” to see Manston Airport reach for the skies once again

A bid to block the Development Consent Order (DCO) granting approval to reopen the airport site near Ramsgate was thrown out by a High Court judge last Friday following a two-day hearing in July.

Which means planning permission allowing site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) to remodel the airport as a cargo hub can now go ahead, with the Kent site potentially opening as early as 2026. 

Tony Freudmann, Main Board Director at RSP said: “We were delighted that, after two days of hearings at the High Court and several months of deliberation, Mr Justice Dove dismissed the application to quash the Government’s approval for the Manston Airport Development Consent Order. 

“It was a highly significant and positive development towards our aim of turning Manston into a state of-the-art air freight hub utilising the very latest technology, including green hydrogen, wind power and electric vehicles to deliver a carbon neutral airfield. 

“In the months ahead, we will be undertaking detailed master planning and design, enabling works and surveys, as well as continuing to press forward with the CAP1616 airspace change project with the Civil Aviation Authority, in order that works could begin on site at Manston in early 2025.” 

Ellis Shelton, Policy Advisor at Logistics UK, has been a longtime supporter of RSP’s plans. “The reopening of Manston Airport for air cargo transportation is vital to support the UK economy and its trading ambitions post-Brexit,” he said.  

“Provision for air cargo on flights in the UK does not meet current demand, let alone leave opportunity for future growth, so we were delighted to see the bid to block the Development Consent Order quashed and the ambitions for the project allowed to press forward.” 

“The airport’s Thanet location is ideal for supporting logistics operations,” he continues. “It’s accessible by road, rail and water links that are perfect for importing time-sensitive goods, including fresh fruit and medical supplies, for onward transportation – and is in close proximity to the capital and to Folkestone for access to continental Europe. 

“RSP estimates that the airport would handle approximately 17,000 cargo flights and in excess of a million tonnes of freight a year, totally transforming the local economy and freight in this country.” 


Published On: 28/09/2023 14:00:00


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In brief

Freight Innovation Fund - Collaboration Competition announced

This competition aims to encourage technology stacking as a means of commercialisation, enabling companies to collaboratively address market challenges that are too large for a single organisation to address on their own.   

Recognising the value of this approach, the fund is designed to offer financial assistance to SMEs to develop business cases to tackle real-world problems at scale. The competition is focused on intermodal freight challenges; participating collaborations must address market issues involving multiple sectors relevant to the UK government's freight strategy.  

Applications opened on Wednesday 20 September 2023, and will close on 10 October 2023 at 11.59pm.   

You can apply now via this link.  

Daimler hydrogen-powered truck journeys over 1,000km in single fill

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It was a key demonstration in the company’s bid to promote the technology as a zero-emissions alternative for long-haul trucking. 

“Today we put an exclamation mark behind the hydrogen story,” said Andreas Gorbach, member of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG and head of truck technology, who drove the 40-ton configuration across the finish line. 

“To decarbonise transport, we need both battery-electric and hydrogen-powered drive technologies. The sweet spot for fuel cell trucks lies in flexible and demanding long-haul transportation tasks.” 

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