THE cost of public consultation over a proposal to allow night flights from Manston airport is likely to cost £80,000. A report due to go to Thanet council on Thursday says money needs to be found to carry out the survey which has been prompted by an application to change the night-time flying policy which has been made by airport owners Infratil.
The current planning agreement between the council and Infratil forbids regular night-time flying. Infratil says it needs more flexibility over when it can have flights to take advantage of anticipated growth in both passenger and freight business. Thanet council’s report says:
“As members of council know however night-time flying is a controversial subject. The town of Ramsgate is relatively close to the airport, as are several villages. Therefore public interest in environmental impact, chiefly noise, is a serious issue.”
The report says Thanet council has a duty to find out what people think and consider the potential environmental impacts of any changes. The consultation needs independent research says the report alongside a technical appraisal of the impact of noise. Money will have to be found from Thanet council’s savings to pay for the work. The report says £80,000 will be needed, £40,000 for public consultation and £40,000 for both noise assessment, and the production of explanatory guidance on aircraft noise.