A public exhibition will next week launch two months of consultation on proposals aimed at ensuring Rochester Airport continues to fly. The two day event takes place 10.30am to 8pm Monday (22 July) and Tuesday (23 July), at the Innovation Centre, Maidstone Road, Chatham.
Residents and businesses will be able to see the latest draft of proposals that could create up to 1,000 jobs plus improved facilities that would increase the airport heritage tourism potential.

Medway Council’s cabinet agreed this month to carry out a formal consultation over the coming weeks to agree a final master plan that will set the template for any future development. This follows on from initial consultation held earlier this year with local firms and residents. Their feedback has helped to finalise the proposals on which a final decision will be made.

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “We want to put a plan in place for Rochester Airport that will help us decide how best to ensure its future by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism. “We have included residents and businesses in our plans from the start, including an exhibition held at the Innovation Centre earlier this year. This consultation will given them another opportunity to have their say before the master plan is agreed.” Following the exhibition residents and businesses will have until Friday, 20 September to have their say. To read more on the proposals for Rochester Airport visit http://www.medway.gov.uk/rochesterairport

First established in 1933, the Rochester Airport site is owned by Medway Council and has been leased since to an airport operator – Rochester Airport Limited. Proposals, revealed last autumn, involve replacing many of the existing buildings and facilities on the airport now reaching the end of their useful life and a reconfiguration of the existing runways.
One of the grass runways on site will be closed and replaced with a new parallel grass and paved runway. The paved runway will allow a small aircraft to take off and climb to a higher altitude very quickly, reducing the impact of noise on surrounding homes.

The grass runway will allow the nationally recognised Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) to continue to use the site for heritage aircraft and open days. It would not lead to the site becoming a full-scale commercial passenger carrying airport. The new runway layout could allow 29 acres near to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate to be developed as a new hub for science or technology related firms – with the potential to eventually create up to 1,000 new skilled jobs.