Manston Airport in Kent can now accept flights carrying horses and is looking forward to welcoming equine competitors to the UK for London 2012 Olympic Games.
The new equine border inspection post (E-BIP) was officially opened on February 24 and is fully licensed for the importation of horses, and other animals, into the European Union (EU) by UK Animal Health, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and EU Animal Control in Brussels.
The facility can house up to 10 horses and has a dedicated quarantine stable, with a separate inspection stable offering state-of-the-art equipment.
Charles Buchanan, chief executive of Manston, said: “The new E-BIP will offer an unparalleled service to the owners of high-value thoroughbred horses.”
The airport has already handled two specialist flights involving horses – its first the transport of 45 ponies to Miami for the polo season.
This was followed by a flight carrying 20 racehorses for the Qatari royal family.
And Mr McQuarrie added that he has offered the facility and the airport’s services to the Olympic Organising committee (LOCOG).
“We believe Manston ticks all the boxes with no slot restrictions and no congestion in the air or on the ground,” he said.
Manston has commissioned Quex Livery, based nearby at Quex Park, to provide horse-handling services.
Dawn Tilley, owner of Quex Park Livery said: “We have worked with the Manston team to test the procedures and facilities to ensure that it works perfectly for future customers and their valuable cargoes.”