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Fanciful employment figures

Ha, ha, ha, ha…  Oh.

Having been roped in to the shambolic shotgun-wedding-cum-phantom-pregnancy of Infratil’s attempted seduction of BAWC, TDC have decided to have a bit of a think and Be Prepared. This will consist of producing a pre-emptive night flying policy, in the full expectation that it will need to modified later, pretty well regardless of who’s flying. Rather than saving their efforts until they know what’s required, presumably.

Anyway, wisdom and sense to one side, TDC Airport Working Group’s briefing papers include Infratil’s recent request for night flights, which contains their projected employment figures. This may be old news to many of you, but it’s the first time I’ve seen them. Plug in your abacus, sharpen your pencil and screw in your monocle…

Infratil says:

The based aircraft operation would require the immediate employment/ relocation of;
*3 administration staff, 38 pilots, 8 freight forwarders along with a host of logistics, engineering, cleaning and catering staff required to support a based airline operation.
**Using examples from other UK airports it can be shown that the additional activity at the airport will generate indirect and induced employment opportunities for over 300 further full time employees. For example, East Midlands Airport reports that the Cargo operation of 300,000 tonnes per annum supports 2,100 indirect and induced jobs.
The influx of business relating to the new contract will also secure the future of the 150 staff already based at KIA.
The first slice of 57 jobs I understand. I think.
The next 55 jobs are made up of 49 specified posts and “a host of logistics, engineering, cleaning and catering staff” (this particular host amounts to six). These 55 jobs are to be filled by immediate employment/relocation. Not dissing Thanet, but I’m guessing that the 38 pilots will be relocations. Which brings us up to 57 + 3 + 8 = 68 new jobs for appropriately qualified and experienced people who live within commuting distance of Manston.


Ha, ha, ha, ha….
But now we get to the bit where you can throw away your abacus and monocle and stick your pencil up your nose. Infratil has more than 300 imaginary friends. It’s OK though: they’re not completely imaginary, because TDC believe in them too. But nobody wants to get bogged down in the humdrum, prosaic details of where these 300 might actually live and work in real life.


I’m gob-smacked, horrified and despairing: TDC actually believed these unsubstantiated and wishful numbers. This, I finally realise, is the original source of TDC’s oft-repeated claims of hundreds of jobs being created. They fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Guys, I realise that Thanet is hard-pressed and keen to attract employment. I understand that you have both a duty and a desire to do right by your electorate. But please don’t fall for every shiny new promise – you announce yourselves as prey for any smooth-talking salesman and do a disservice to the very people you serve.

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