An independent group set up to advise on the development of Manston airport has said no to more night flights. Kent International Airport Consultative Committee chairman Paul Twyman told a meeting of Thanet council’s airport working group that while there should be a balance of “economic and environmental interests”, he was against changing current night policy. An existing section 106 planning agreement restricts flying between 11pm and 7am. Although it expired in 2003 the agreement will remain in effect until a new one is signed by Thanet council and airport owners Infratil. thisiskent.co.uk
So the S106 ‘restricts’ night flights – as far as I can fathom, it bans scheduled night flights, but allows late arrivals and other unscheduled flights. I’ve yet to find out who defines what is and isn’t scheduled. With a world-weary sigh, I assume it’s down to Infratil. What happens if Infratil says a plane is scheduled to arrive at 10:30pm, but it consistently arrives 1½ hours late? Nothing, I guess. Sigh.
Anyway, the S106 from yesteryear remains in force. The statutory consultation period is 6 months, and Cllr Harrison repeatedly told the assembled multitude at Manston on 19th May that Infratil has not yet triggered the start of consultations. So that means no increase in night flights for a while. Doesn’t it?