London's Manston airport faces closure

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Operators of the UK's Manston airport, east of London, are considering closing the facility.

The airport's management company states that it is entering a period of consultation with staff over the "possible closure".

Manston has been used for freight flights but also has a limited passenger operation, mainly KLM's services to Amsterdam. It has also served as a training base, notably during British Airways' introduction of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787.

"We plan to continue to operate as normal during the period of consultation," says the airport's operator.

The Unite union, the main employee representative at Manston, has reacted with concern over the decision.

It says it will "do everything possible" to safeguard its members' interests during the 45-day consultation.

Manston is located some 110km from central London. It was acquired by an entity named Lothian Shelf, linked with Stagecoach Group co-founder Ann Gloag, for a token sum last year. Its features include a 2,752m (9,030ft) runway.