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.