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JFK vs KIA

Through selfless and diligent research I unearth nuggets of pure fact, which I can hurl at half-truths, shattering them into a myriad harmless fiblets.

For instance, from time to time I have heard it said that planes (or more accurately, their pilots) like to have a long straight approach to the runway when landing. Dear reader, this may well be true. I have also heard it said that a long straight approach is a necessity. Dear reader, that is bollocks.

Curved approach flight paths

JFK vs KIA

Through selfless and diligent research I unearth nuggets of pure fact, which I can hurl at half-truths, shattering them into a myriad harmless fiblets.

For instance, from time to time I have heard it said that planes (or more accurately, their pilots) like to have a long straight approach to the runway when landing. Dear reader, this may well be true. I have also heard it said that a long straight approach is a necessity. Dear reader, that is bollocks.

Far beyond the western borders of Kent, in Americashire, is the well-known city of New York. Its John F. Kennedy Airport is laughably busy, and is hard by one of the largest conurbations on earth – larger even than Ramsgate. Out of consideration for all the people on the ground, the planes do NOT take a long straight approach to the runway. Click here to link to the live radar tracking of incoming and outgoing flights.

I’ve drawn a pink smudge to indicate one of the approaches to JFK. The plane circled in red is just turning in to land. It is 1.75 miles from the end of the runway. This is, of course, a very much smaller number than the 7, 8, 10 and 12 miles that I have been told is the necessary and unavoidable run-up distance.

Translated into Kentish miles (or miles of Kent, I suppose) this equates to a landing plane turning in to its final straight-line approach roughly over the Monkton roundabout; actually over the junction of Seamark and Plumstone Roads. As you will see, this still leaves plenty of room for a leisurely swoop in completely avoiding Herne Bay and Ramsgate.

So the next time someone tells you that the planes MUST fly over the towns, just tell them to JFK off.

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11 comments

  1. I suggest that you go and get an education of sorts before you comment the management of arrival flight paths and heavy jets. Lord help us, if you had brains you might be dangerous!What make you think that what's OK for JFK and the FAA is OK for Manston and the CAA.Captain Jumbo…

  2. Obviously captain Dumbo hates to think that the aviation fraternity should make any form of compromise. Selfish oaf.

    • Mike Anderson

      Airplanes give minimal disruption to herne bay. The piss heads and junkies in the town are what needs quietening down.

  3. Anon 10:08 – you're in danger of giving anonymous posters a bad name. I'm immune to your venom (sticks and stones and all that), but I am disappointed that you waste your time with ill-formed rhetorical questions. It would be far more effective to cut the ground from under me and crush me with slam-dunk killer facts. Got any?:- no education is required to observe the undeniable facts on the JFK radar feed – just see the pretty shapes move. I'm sure you can manage that.:- JFK is one of the busiest international air passenger and freight terminals in North America.:- every size and shape of plane that KIA aspires to is flying in and out of JFK daily.:- it is standard practice for some of these planes to execute a curving descent, straightening up less than 2 miles from the end of the runway, as you can see on the radar.:- can you explain why this is achievable over New York City when flying into one of the world's busiest airports, but not (so Infratil would have us believe) when flying over the deserted Wantsum Marsh into moribund Manston. Aircraft; runway; descent: the key ingredients are there, so what's the special 'otherness' that makes you so sure Manston cannot manage what others do daily?:- and while you're at it, why are you so dismissive of the JFK/FAA combination? It's not as if we're talking about the Aeroflot of yore flying into an airstrip in rural Kazakhstan – it's an international hub, for crying out loud!Deeply amusing, however, that a Manston apologist should masquerade as an arbiter of international best practice. Larfed? I nearly shat.

  4. Captain Jumbo – I quizzed a proper, grown up, employed Captain on these very matters. He's a pilot with a little known airline called British Airways, flying "heavy jets" as you describe them, all around the world. His summary was that, while pilots might LIKE a long, straight descent of 10 miles or so , it is perfectly possible and safe to have a much later turn before establishing the plane on a straight line with the runway. He cited JFK as a perfect example of an airport where this happens. I haven't noticed planes dropping out of the sky at JFK on a daily basis, so it may just be possible that, as an experienced commercial pilot, he knew what he was talking about.

  5. Is it not a matter of time? If the receiver of the airline that is one of the current users decides that's enough then it is one less user(and how much do they own Manston?) How much is it costing to operate a safe ATC and fire service to make it at all viable? I heard users are trying to call in only to be told that "we're closing early as we have no ATC staff".

  6. I'd imagine the current routes in and out of Manston are perhaps more fuel efficient, and anyway, the comparison between JKF is hardly relevant since routes in and our also take into account other airports like Newark, LaGuardia.Anyway whats the problem with the occasional plane overhead, particularly in Herne Bay, I'd have thought you could do with a bit of excitement.Why is that Manston's enviro-bullies rarely identify themselves for all we know, Mr Earplugs is also the one man Stop Manston Expansion Group in fact likely.

  7. Tony: I'm stupid, please explain what you mean by:"the comparison between JKF is hardly relevant since routes in and our also take into account other airports like Newark, LaGuardia."and, for your information, I don't identify myself because I run a small business – I could alienate my Margate customers like you who don't care about Ramsgate. I could also incur a certain wrath from TDC who could make business difficult for me.

  8. Hi Tony, I'm Phil. I'm not an 'enviro-bully', although it's quite a revealing word to have coined. I care about where I live (Herne Bay), and the life I live.Aircraft noise isn't 'excitement' (unless you're waiting to escape from a desert island) – it shouldn't be needlessly inflicted on anyone. The JFK example shows what the planes are capable of, and illustrates the point that they *could* be routed over the sea if (and only if) Infratil and TDC gave a toss about the people on the ground.

  9. The problem here is that you're assuming TDC give a toss.However, surely it would be in the interest of all the (two?) pro-airporters who are getting steamed up to take this information on board and run with it. After all it appears that the JFK solution would enable them to keep their toy airport and stifle the complaints. Job's a good 'un!But no, as usual, they're too thick to think of that.

  10. Cute & astute, Anon 2:59.