After introductions from the Working Party Chairman, it is proposed that the meeting makes maximum use of the time available to let every member of the KIACC have their say. The KIACC Chairman (Paul Twyman) will take Members through the broad disadvantages and benefits of this subject, covering as many of the associated environmental and economic factors as possible.
There are then five main groups of issues to consider. These being;
- Environmental impacts and measures including noise monitoring and reporting, air quality, complaint procedures and reporting etc.
- Overflying issues specifically noise abatement routes and preferred runway usage etc.
- The subject of how penalties and the Community Fund be addressed.
- The social and economic advantages of enabling some night-time flying; creation of jobs etc.
- The actual hours during which shoulder-periods etc. might be considered acceptable.
A notable omission is whether anyone actually wants night flights. Anyone who isn’t on the Infratil/TDC payroll, that is. I don’t know whether anyone will get the opportunity to make this point. Anyway…
(1) Click here for my thoughts on monitoring. In a nutshell, showing a commitment to monitoring is a sign of good faith, and actually doing it and producing accurate and timely reports proves you’re not taking the piss. Infratil have been dragging their feet – there is no excuse for this. Any agreement between Infratil and TDC must be monitored effectively, and any complaints dealt with efficiently.
(2) Overflying issues are most easily resolved by minimising the amount of overflying. Duh! Click here to see how easy it is for the air traffic in and out of Manston to avoid overflying built-up areas. Essentially, rather than taking the laziest/easiest option of a straight-line flight path, a slight curve would route the planes over the Wantsum Channel and the North Sea, causing a lot less bother for a lot more people.
(3) When I first saw the escalating scale of fines in the S106 agreement, I was impressed. I’ve always been of the opinion that if you’re going to go to the trouble of squeezing a fine out of someone, it’s got to hurt… them. However, looking at the numbers more closely, it becomes clear that few of the breaches are being fined. What the hell is going on? The simplest way of addressing the question of penalties is to apply them consistently.
(4) This is a cracker. Am I the only one who gets the impression that this is a foregone conclusion? Shouldn’t we also be considering the disadvantages? Click here to find out how increasing air travel can cost jobs. Anyway, I will be listening carefully to learn about the clear benefits of night flights. In particular, I’m curious to discover whether night flights generate more jobs than day flights. The airport is idle through the night, and idle for much of the day. Why not start by getting the airport busy in the daytime before crashing through everyone’s sleep?
(5) I laughed out loud when I first found out about ‘shoulder periods’. These are simply a euphemism for changing the rules, moving the goalposts. Can you, dear reader, suggest any other deadline or time limit that has a shoulder period?
- “Lovely Rita, meter maid, please don’t give me a parking ticket or clamp my vehicle – I am clearly within the shoulder period on this parking meter.”
- “Oh, Mr Conveyancer, please don’t let my house purchase fall through – the money was nearly on time.”
- “Dear Taxman, do not punish me – my tax return is only slightly late.”
- “Please do not fine my plane for failing to meet your terms of business.”
No. Set the deadlines and stick to them.