RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) has secured the redetermined development consent order (DCO) from the UK’s Department for Transport for Manston Airport (MSE) in Kent, South-East England.

Following over five years of detailed scrutiny, the DCO has been granted to RSP to make a £500m investment for the redevelopment of the airport.

RSP stated that the DCO would help improve much-required air freight capacity in the South-East and eliminate long-term overcrowding in the London airport system.

The company will focus on advancing its local procurement programme and partnership work with a wide range of business, education, training and local authority organisations, in addition to carrying out work needed to return Manston to operational status.

It will begin surveys, detailed master planning and design work in the coming weeks.

Construction will start later next year, with the airport expected to commence its first cargo services in early 2025.

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RSP director Tony Freudmann said: “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.”

In July 2020, the Department for Transport initially granted approval to Manston Airport for its transformation into an international air freight hub and passenger airfield.

In February 2021, the transformation process was shelved following a Judicial Review challenge by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes.

Manston Airport was shut down in May 2014 due to a financial crisis.