Airport sets sights on London Olympics
To better position itself as a major hub for the 2012 London Olympics, Manston Airport in Kent has broken ground on a £250,000 ($396,674) Equine Border Inspection Post. Completion is expected in April.
“With no slot restrictions and no congestion in the air or on the ground, we can offer customers a fast, professional and efficient service, ensuring the least amount of stress for their animals, which have already had a long flight," Allan McQuarrie, Manston's group manager for freight development, said in a statement. "From the aircraft to the BIP, the distance is less than 300 meters, and it is sheltered from aircraft noise by other buildings.”
McQuarrie also said the BIP will play into the airport's plans to play a large role during the Olympics. He has already offered use of the facility to the Olympic Committee because it is only located 58 miles from where some equestrian events will be held, he said.
Roger Gale, the region's parliament member, has been working since early 2009 to secure Manston Airport as one of the key transport facilities for the games. His argument is that by building up Manston, traffic to London Gatwick and London Heathrow will be relaxed and a logistical nightmare will be avoided. "Manston has the capacity to provide, for 2012, a one-stop shop for the reception, processing and accreditation of incoming athletes from around the World," he has said.