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44 flights a night at Manston?

On the bright side, these figures are for the upper limits allowed - it's unlikely that Manston will actually take this many, simply because it's in an inconvenient location.

However, if it gets anything like this number, it would be a useful "experiment" to show everyone what full-time scheduled night flights would be like. Perhaps it would be a good idea to hold the public consultation on night flights after the Olympics...

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TDC’s update on night-time flying proposal

The findings of an independent assessment of the proposals and technical details for night time flying at Manston Airport have been received by the council. The final report was submitted to the council’s Community Services Manager, Madeline Homer on Thursday 19 January and was completed by specialists, Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd. Before starting any public consultation on the proposals, the council …

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Flybe, Manston, night flights and the truth

We wondered whether night flights would have made a difference to Flybe's decision to quit Manston.

After all, Charles Buchanan's constant message in the media is that night flights are essential to the airport's long-term commercial success, and Flybe is exactly the kind of high volume passenger carrier that Manston wants to attract (and keep).

So had the lack of scheduled night flights made Manston less attractive? Would scheduled night flights have persuaded Flybe to stay?

So we asked them...

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Doing battle with a naked Emperor

Medway Council are ready for battle. CPRE Protect Kent are ready to grab the opportunity to point out that the Emperors of Aviation are naked, and (quite brilliantly) want to inject a little democracy into the process. Best of luck guys.

Cllr Rodney ChambersA fierce opponent of a Thames Estuary airport has vowed to fight all the way to the top as controversial plans take a step forward. Medway Council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers wants to work with the Towns' MPs to secure a crisis meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron or Chancellor George Osborne. Mr Cameron was set to announce preliminary backing for a huge airport potentially off the Kent coast - which would dwarf the size of Heathrow - earlier this month, according to a national newspaper.

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Estuary Airport – hot potato, fig leaf, or white elephant?

Wise words from Paul Francis on the awful consequences of realpolitik and the persistence of dumb ideas. The sudden (re)launch of the estuary airport idea has more to do with Boris' mayoral election bid and recent unemployment figures than strategic infrastructure planning. And then there is the blind faith that an airport automatically translates into employment and regeneration. These apparently impulsive pronouncements from politicians rarely mention the downsides of aviation, and never touch on the fact that aviation itself does not have a long-term future - when the oil runs out, what use is an airport?

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Formal consultation on UK aviation

Thames Estuary airport plans to be examined

The government is to hold a formal consultation on UK aviation - including controversial plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary. The study, to begin in March, will look at options for "maintaining the UK's aviation hub status".

Downing Street said no decisions had been made - London Mayor Boris Johnson backs the Thames airport idea. David Cameron has ruled out expanding Heathrow but his deputy Nick Clegg is said to be opposed to the estuary idea. Labour said the coalition was in a "complete mess" over aviation policy.

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Boris shoots own foot in sympathy

'Boris Island' airport plan grounded over Johnson's briefing to Telegraph

An artist's impression of Norman Foster's design for a new four-runway airport on the Thames estuary

Downing Street told Boris Johnson on Wednesday that he had killed off any moves towards an airport in the Thames Estuary ahead of the next general election after an announcement by the London mayor was seized on by the Liberal Democrats. 

David Cameron and George Osborne, who have become alarmed by growing business anxiety about their opposition to expanding Heathrow, had indicated they were warm about a new airport which would assume Heathrow's role as a hub.

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Cameron shoots everybody in the foot, himself first

How NOT to make a decision on Boris Island

There is a right way and a wrong way to make decisions on airports. The right way:

  • Set out the need for the development and options in a draft aviation NPS;
  • Carry out an SEA and consultation;
  • Choose an option and put the NPS to parliament;
  • Minister makes final decision.

  • Cameron has shown that he is is own worst enemy when it comes to major policy decisions. The rules aren't that complicated - they can be written on the back of an envelope.

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    More airport expansion

    Well, well - here's another airport in the south-east that's looking to expand. Their proposal for 57% growth will be rushed through public consultation in just 4 weeks. They are promising to continue to be a "good neighbour". They say that the impact on the environment noise and road traffic flows will be "fully evaluated".

    They even say that they will be submitting a planning application. Ahem. Nudge, nudge. Wouldn't it be nice if all airports had planning permission?

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