I beleive Manston airports fate was sealed as soon as Infratil sold it to Stagecoach boss Ann Gloag.
The assets are probably worth considerably more than the purchase price, it will be interesting how local council Labour leader Clive Hart handles himself with this one, Labour have done their best to damage the airport prospects, such as Clive Harts decision not to big up KLM's support for the Airport, he claimed couldn't speak publicly because the county council elections were in progress, it was a real joy to see arrogant Labour candidates getting a good kicking in the ballot boxes from UKIP a few days latter.
Hopefully local politicians will man up and do their best to stop, Manston being asset stripped, by selling off the land for development, if this is not viable as an airport lets hope it's returned to agricultural use.
Of course this could have some bearing on Clive Hart's shocking role, in wasting a hundred grand to overturn his own council decision not allow a hideous housing estate, the full story of East Kent Opportunity shenanigans can be found on Cllr Driver blog also a good read and a reminder of Labours role in ousting independent members of the standards board.
The stink from Labour's Thanet council is as bad as ever and will probably get worse.
Coming back to the airport at Manston this was a potential gem, call me a cynic but I think Ann Gloag had closure in mind when it was purchased back in October, if only as a contingency.