Virgin Atlantic CEO Steve Ridgway

Branson seeks new airline boss

Virgin Atlantic has had a tough year, with rising fuel costs and increased competition from rivals. It recently reported losses of £80m.

George Osborne

Runway idea for Thames Valley

It's the political row that won't go away because Heathrow & Gatwick have limited capacity, but voters don't want a new airport near them.

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Residents meet to save Manston Airport from closure

by Andy Dickenson

The future of Manston Airport hangs in the balance. That was the message from supporters and workers alike at a meeting in Kent today - the airports owners' said it could close following a consultation. Andy Dickenson reports.

The interviewees are: Laura Sandys MP for South Thanet; and Sir Roger Gale MP for North Thanet.

Big crowd outside meeting on Manston Airport's future

A meeting is underway in East Kent in a bid to keep Manston Airport open. The site's owners announced plans to close the airfield earlier this month.

The shock announcement was made on Thursday 20th March. A process of consultation is underway. The airport employs 150 local people.

A crowd of people listening to proceedings on loudspeaker outside the meeting about Manston Airport's future

A few days ago the local MP, Roger Gale - who represents Thanet North - said he had been approached by a potential buyer for the site.

A packed hall for thee meeting about Manston Airport's future

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Union seeks 'clarification' over potential airport closure

The Unite union has responded to an announcement from the managers of Manston Airport in Kent that the site could close. Union officials said they were seeking clarification about the airport's future. A 45-day period of consultation has begun.

“The news has just broken and I am seeking clarification from the management about the airport’s future. Until I have had that conversation, it would not be appropriate to comment at length.

“Unite is the major union at the airport and represents employees, such as the fire service and the baggage handlers. Unite will do everything possible to safeguard the interests of our members in the days and weeks ahead.

“Any loss of employment would be a hard blow for the local economy.”

– Ian McCoulough, Unite regional officer

First female flier to win scholarship begins training

by Mike Pearse

A 19 year-old from Hampshire has become the first woman to be win a flying scholarship from Farnborough Airport. Training to become a pilot costs tens of thousands of pounds. The grant scheme assists young local people with the initial cost of lessons.

The scheme also helps to keep the tradition of flying alive at the birthplace of British aviation.

Farnborough was the site of of the first ever powered flight in Britain. ITV Meridian's Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

"It's a lot of hard work, but I'm willing to take it on..." says first female to win pilot training scholarship at Farnborough

Miriam Pratap
Miriam Pratap says she welcomes the challenge of learning to fly at Farnborough

The first woman has joined a scheme that allows young people to learn how to fly at the British home of aviation in Farnborough.

NIneteen-year-old Miriam Pratap from local area, has been awarded a scholarship to help her start her training. Learning how to become a pilot can cost more than £100,000.

flight simulator
Some of the pilot training takes place in a flight simulator

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The arguments for & against Gatwick Airport expansion

by Malcolm Shaw

The Davies report into the future of aviation in the South highlights that airport expansion is desperately needed in the south east - but few people want a new runway in their backyard. While growth could create more jobs, it would also bring more aircraft noise and pollution.

Gatwick Airport still has a lot of spare capacity. But, is a new runway even necessary? Our correspondent Malcolm Shaw has been looking at the arguments.

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