Manston Airport Inland Border Facility

Overview

This page provides an opportunity for interested individuals and organisations to view information about the Manston Airport Inland Border Facility.

The site acts as a location for starting and ending transit movements of goods from the UK. The site includes parking areas for HGVs and other vehicles as well as security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site.

The submission relating to the Government’s proposals for the Manston Airport Inland Border Facility was approved by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in December 2020. As such, the site at Manston Airport is in use as an inland border facility from 1 January 2021 for 24 months. The site is also subject to construction and operational management plans which have now been approved.

The decision notice relating to MHCLG’s approval of the SDO application is available to view here

Contact us

If you have a specific concern, please contact us using the email below:

IBFcustomerserviceManston@hmrc.gov.uk

Community updates

News and updates for the local community regarding the Manston Airport Inland Border Facility are available to view below.

1st January 2020

The Manston Inland Border facility is now operational, enabling the safe and efficient processing of customs paperwork relating to international freight movement.

The operations of the inland border facility will continue to be carefully managed in accordance with the requirements of the approved Operational Management Plan (OMP). This includes the ongoing monitoring of traffic flows and site usage in conjunction with the local highway authority and Highways England.

As part of ongoing traffic management, signage has been used on local and strategic road networks to enable HGV drivers and staff to navigate to the site. Signage on site also provides contact information for any possible issues.

Engagement from Government departments with key stakeholders is ongoing to ensure that they are kept informed regarding operations on site. Further information for hauliers and guidance on attending an Inland Border Facility is available, here

23rd October 2020

We wanted to let you know that we will be commencing some construction works on the site under the existing temporary planning permission. These works will be carried out under the current Special Development Order for the site which expires on the 31st of December 2020.  

You may see some site set up works starting from 26 October, with construction works commencing. from 2 November 2020. 

This work is important to ensure that the site can be ready for the 1st of January 2021 to help support readiness for the end of the transition period. Inland border facilities form an essential part of our preparations to manage any potential disruption and ensure the free flow of goods in and out of the UK.

All works will be carried out in accordance with an approved construction management plan in order to minimise any potential impacts upon local residents. 

Construction and Operations

An Operational Management Plan (OMP) has been developed for the inland border facility. The OMP explains the tasks involved in safely managing and operating the site in a manner to reduce the potential for any adverse impacts on site or locally. It provides a framework of guidance to all site users and describes in detail the arrangements for delivering the intended services. A non-technical summary of the OMP can be viewed here

A Construction Management Plan (CMP) has been developed for the inland border facility. The CMP explains how construction works will be managed. It also ensures that possible impacts that may arise from the works have been appropriately identified and mitigated. The CMP for the inland border facility is available to view here

Site Location Map

Inland border facility location

The inland border facility is located at Manston Airport, which is partly adjacent to the village of Manston, Thanet, located approximately 12 miles (20km) north-east of Canterbury.

The site is bordered by the A299 and is some 21 miles (34km) from the M2; approximately 76 miles (123km) south-east of London and 21 miles (33km) north-east of the Port of Dover.


Traffic flow and access

Directing vehicles to the inland border facility

The majority of HGVs travelling to the site approach from the A299, better known as Thanet Way, a major road that sits adjacent to the site. It runs from Brenley Corner near Faversham to Ramsgate via Whitstable and Herne Bay. It is predominantly used for local traffic travelling to and from Thanet and is 22 miles (35km) in length.

From South Wales, the South-West, South Coast and London

HGVs travel to the site on the A2/M2 corridor. HGVs join the A2/M2 corridor either via the M20 (junction 7) or via the M25 (junction 2).

HGVs are directed by hard signage to exit from junction 7 of the M2 in order to continue on the A299 (Thanet Way) and onto Manston Airport.

From Dartford-Thurrock Crossing and the East

HGVs travelling southbound from Dartford-Thurrock crossing are diverted onto the M2/A2 corridor through use of prominent road signage.

Prominent road signage

Prominent road signage has been installed that directs HGV drivers to and from the Inland Border Facility.

Signs are in place at the site entrance to advise hauliers about the use of site facilities and providing site contact details.

The signage strategy was approved as part of the OMP.

Entry and exit points at the facility

There are separate entry and exit points to the site. Access is from Spitfire Way, approximately 1.5km east of the Spitfire Way/B2190/Columbus Avenue roundabout. Vehicles will exit the site onto the A299 (Hengist Way), approximately 500 metres east of the Minster roundabout.

Information for hauliers

Information for hauliers attending the Manston Airport Inland Border Facility is available to view here

Operation Brock

Operation Brock is a Kent traffic management system that can be deployed to manage the flow of HGVs and reduce traffic congestion in the event of cross-Channel disruption. It was developed by Highways England, the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) and DfT in 2018 as an alternative to Operation Stack in preparation for the UK’s departure from the European Union. It has since been revised in preparation for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

Operation Brock has multiple phases that can be activated depending on the scale of the disruption. Unlike Operation Stack, it allows the M20 to remain open for general, though reduced, use by passenger vehicles through the use of a ‘contraflow’ in which HGVs can be queued. This contraflow is deployed using a moveable barrier between junctions 8 and 9 of the M20.

In the event of excessive disruption on the M20, Manston Airport can be deployed as part of Operation Brock to hold lorries heading for the Port of Dover.

Access & vehicle movement plan


Environment and Landscaping

The inland border facility is temporary and designed to ensure no significant or long-term environmental effects. DfT, alongside other Government departments, reviewed the options for use of the site and planning consent was granted.

Given the temporary nature of the inland border facilities, reinstatement plans have been prepared which will be implemented when the inland border facility activities cease.

As part of the SDO approval, a study of the likely environmental effects has been produced. This study has considered air quality, cultural heritage, landscape and visual effects, biodiversity, road drainage and water. Noise monitoring is currently being carried out to allow the noise levels generated by the site to be monitored and mitigated if necessary. The study has also considered geology and soils, material assets and waste, population and health, and climate.


Frequently asked questions

What is the role of the inland border facility at Manston?

The Manston Airport site is now in use as a temporary, backup lorry holding facility in readiness for possible disruption over the Short Straits and as an inland border facility for starting transit movements of goods from the UK.

There are security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site. There are also temporary office buildings, staff and driver welfare amenities.

Why this location?

The Manston Airport site comprises the existing main runway hardstanding as well as a number of airport buildings, and provides a large parking area. It is partly adjacent to the village of Manston in the Thanet district of Kent, and is situated 16 miles (25km) east of the Port of Dover. The site has been selected due to its size – it is the only available site of its size in Kent – and to its proximity to the Short Straits ports.

No operations will take place at Manston if Operation Brock is not deployed.

What is Operation Brock?

Operation Brock is a Kent traffic management system that can be deployed to manage the flow of HGVs and reduce traffic congestion in the event of cross-Channel disruption. It was developed by Highways England, the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) and DfT in 2018 as an alternative to Operation Stack in preparation for the UK’s departure from the European Union. It has since been revised in preparation for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

Operation Brock has multiple phases that can be activated depending on the scale of the disruption. Unlike Operation Stack, it allows the M20 to remain open for general, though reduced, use by passenger vehicles through the use of a ‘contraflow’ in which HGVs can be queued. This contraflow is deployed using a moveable barrier between junctions 8 and 9 of the M20.

In the event of excessive disruption on the M20, Manston Airport can be deployed as part of Operation Brock to hold lorries heading for the Port of Dover.

What is the capacity of the site?

The temporary lorry holding facility is able to accommodate up to approximately 4,000 HGVs. Alongside the HGV holding areas, the site also accommodates welfare facilities for HGV drivers, as well as office accommodation for Border Force, HMRC, DVSA and DfT staff utilising buildings of a temporary nature.

How have the proposals changed when compared to the 2019 planning permission?

When compared to the 2019 planning permission, the current permission has evolved in a number of ways, including:

  • Reduction in the number of HGVs to 4,000
  • Erection of one temporary inspection shed for use by HMRC and Border Force and of a temporary welfare unit also for their use
  • Potential use of additional land to the north of the site for staff to stay overnight in mobile sleeper units, if required
  • Use of existing hardstanding area for staff parking to the north-east of the western staff entrance

Will the operation of the site impact local communities?

When the scheme is in operation, there would be an increase in the use of the local road network by HGVs although the access to the site is introduced in a phased manner, and rigorously tested at each key point.

Will the site have an impact on air quality locally?

We have conducted the relevant environmental studies to understand the possible impact upon air quality in the local area.

How many staff are on site?

Site staff include fully trained security personnel, traffic management staff and emergency response personnel. The number of staff needed on site has been determined as part of the Operational Management Plan, which sets out how the site is managed and operated safely.

What type of vehicles are expected to use the inland border facility?

The inland border facility is used by HGVs, cars and vans, including staff vehicles.

Are refrigerated vehicles expected at the inland border facility?

Provision is available for refrigerated vehicles. No idling is permitted by refrigerated vehicles as engines of all stationary vehicles must be switched off while on site.

Is the site operational at night?

24/7 site operation is needed in order to properly and efficiently handle the number of HGVs on the site.

Will vehicles be inspected at the inland border facility?

Lorry parking spaces and a parking space for a van has been provided for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to undertake vehicle and driver checks, together with any prohibition of vehicles as a result of their checks.

There are inspection bays on site and the time required for each HGV check (excluding physical inspection) is a maximum of two hours. If a physical examination is required, an inspection may take up to eight hours.

Will goods be unloaded at the inland border facility?

There is an examination facility on site, and some consignments that are brought to the site will need a physical examination.

Will there be any hazardous materials brought on to the inland border facility?

The Operational Management Plan (OMP) is in place and sets out how the site is managed and operated safely, including in relation to any hazardous materials.

What impact will the site have on the operation of the airfield?

The inland border facility is located away from other operational uses on the airfield and the impact on these operations is minor.