Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) is interested in basing between two and four aircraft out of Manston in Kent, Southeast England, if the proposal to reopen the airport is approved.

RiverOak Strategic Partnerships told Kent Online it is trying to secure a Development Consent Order from the UK's Secretary of State for Transport which would force Stone Hill Park, the current owner of the airport, to sell the property. If the bid succeeds, RiverOak aims to redevelop Manston into a cargo airport focused on day-time operations, but it also hopes to attract scheduled passenger service with Ryanair. The airfield closed in 2014.

"It's no secret that they have no presence south of the Thames, save for a few flights at London Gatwick. They have huge plans to expand. They fly 125 million passengers a year at the moment and they want 200 million by 2024. Some of that increase will come from south-east England, and Manston would be the logical place," RiverOak managing director Tony Freudmann said.

RiverOak also hopes to lure back KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which connected Manston with Amsterdam Schiphol prior to the airport's closure.

The current owner seeks to build a housing project on the airport's grounds.