DETAILS of how many night flights bosses at Manston airport want will be available in two weeks. New airport boss Charles Buchanan said on Friday he would be ready to release the long-awaited figures shortly. He was speaking to the Kent International Airport Consultative Committee, which was holding its meeting in public.
Despite being pressed by committee members, he declined to reveal what Quota Count – the method by which planes are categorised by the noise they make – Infratil wanted. A 747 is equivalent to four QC. Later, Steve Higgins, a member of the public who watched the meeting, claimed to have a document showing the airport’s owners Infratil wanted 1,995 QC – equivalent to around 500 night flights
Speaking to the Thanet Times after the meeting, Mr Buchanan said the figure was provisional and could change when Infratil put forward its plan. When Infratil does make public its proposals, it will begin a consultation to be run by Thanet council. Consultative committee chairman Paul Twyman said there were serious concerns over whether the process would be robust enough. He warned Thanet council that it could leave itself open to a legal challenge if people did not feel the consultation had been run properly.
Council planning boss Brian White said a lot of preparation had gone into getting ready for the consultation. Concerns were raised by the committee and members of the public who watched the meeting over how much time Thanet council would allow for people to make their views known. Worries over safety, pilots not using prescribed flying routes and the complaints procedure were also raised.
By rebecca smith firstname.lastname@example.org