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Reactions from Sir Roger Gale MP, Laura Sandys MP, Sandra Matthews-Marsh (chief executive at Visit Kent), David Foley (east Kent Chamber of Commerce chief executive), Cllr Bob Bayford (Thanet Conservative Group), and Cllr Clive Hart (Leader of Thanet District Council).

KLM-Manston: reactions

Reactions from Sir Roger Gale MP, Laura Sandys MP, Sandra
Matthews-Marsh (chief executive at Visit Kent), David Foley (east Kent
Chamber of Commerce chief executive), Cllr Bob Bayford (Thanet
Conservative Group), and Cllr Clive Hart (Leader of Thanet District
Council).

The news has been welcomed by groups in Kent including Sir Roger Gale MP. He said:

“For more than twenty years a few of us have staked our faith in the
belief that Manston has a job-creating future as a successful regional
airport. We have, of course, seen some false starts but this is the
first time that a major international flag-carrier has made a commitment
to regular flights to mainland Europe. With Schiphol`s status as one of
Europe`s fastest-growing inter-lining airports this move really does
connect Kent with the rest of the world and the rest of the world with
Kent.”

Laura Sandys, MP

I am delighted that KLM have decided to start offering flights from
Manston. This makes Thanet even better connected with the rest of the
world and makes our area a more attractive place to invest. I am very
much looking forward to supporting KLM to ensure that this route is a
success.

Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive at Visit Kent, said:

“This is a tremendous opportunity for tourism businesses across East
Kent and beyond. We now have a real opportunity to persuade more people
heading to England to fly into Manston and discover the outstanding
heritage, countryside and coast on London’s doorstep with excellent
transport links into the heart of the capital.

Visit Kent already has very strong relationships with tourism
partners in The Netherlands and we will continue to work closely with
them to promote our county in their local markets for regular short
breaks and day trips. Visit Kent was delighted to be invited to work
with the airport team at Manston to promote Kent as a great destination
for KLM passengers.”

Thanet and east Kent Chamber of Commerce chief executive David Foley said:

“This news follows closely the announcement of a projected minimum of
3,000 jobs at the Discovery Park in Sandwich making for an excellent
few weeks. Given the considerable savings in time and money to local
long haul passengers transiting via Amsterdam, there is every reason to
suppose that the arrival of KLM in Manston will stimulate employment in
East Kent, reduce costs for exporters and boost tourism throughout the
county. From today, the business community can shout loudly that Kent
Loves Manston.

Given the considerable savings in time and money to local long-haul
passengers transiting via Amsterdam, there is every reason to suppose
that the arrival of KLM in Manston will stimulate employment in east
Kent, reduce costs for exporters and boost tourism.”

Thanet Conservative group leader Councillor Bob Bayford said:

“We desperately need jobs here and the Conservative group has always
maintained that the airport could play a crucial role in the
regeneration of Thanet. The Labour administration’s short-sighted ‘no
night flights’ policy would effectively ban this service, simply because
one of the flights is 25 minutes before 7am, yet this is exactly the
type of flexibility that we have long argued for.”

Thanet Conservative Group has welcomed the announcement that
KLM will introduce a twice daily service between Manston and Amsterdam
in April 2013. Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford said:

“This is very positive news for both Manston Airport and for Thanet,
particularly the immediate creation of nearly 30 jobs. We desperately
need jobs here and the Conservative Group has always maintained that the
airport could play a crucial role in the regeneration of Thanet.  The
Labour administration’s short sighted ‘no night flights’ policy would
effectively ban this service, simply because one of the flights is 25
minutes before 7am, yet this is exactly the type of flexibility that the
Conservative Group has long argued for.”

Cllr Bayford also noted that the number of valid objections to ‘night
flights’ from Labour’s flawed consultation earlier this year was just
1329, whilst KLM’s online survey produced over 9000 responses, 96% of
which expressed demand for the service, and 80% of which were from
within the Thanet area.

Thanet council leader Clive Hart tempered his enthusiasm with
apparent concern for those residents who have opposed night flights. Mr
Hart said the proposal would be allowed under a current Section 106
agreement banning certain night flights, as the KLM service would use a
“quieter aircraft” carrying passengers to a European destination. He
said:

“I welcome it most definitely – especially the jobs. In an ideal
world I would have much preferred it if the later flight was at 7am,
however, we are where we are.”

Thanet District Council has warmly received the announcement
made in Canterbury, that from 2 April, a new KLM service will operate
from Manston Airport to Schiphol in Amsterdam. The service is within the
parameters of the section 106 Agreement with Manston. Council Leader
and Cabinet Member for Strategic Economic Development Services Cllr
Clive Hart said:

“Thanet District Council welcomes this positive news and looks
forward to what we hope is a new future for Manston Airport, which
balances a bright economic future with empathy for the local environment
and our residents. Thanet is a beautiful place and we would have
welcomed the opportunity to have held Tuesday evening’s event in our
district, I sincerely hope we will be given that honour in the future.”

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No comments

  1. It won’t work and they will drop out just like the rest of the previous loss making airlines !It is just not viable to fly to Amsterdam from Manston unless that is where you want to end up. By the time you have connected to wherever you need to go from there you could already be sitting sipping sangria by the pool for 12 hours or more by flying direct from London. It would be to take a backward step to go the KLM route with all the hassle, unless of course you like lounging around in airports waiting for flights.The Conservative MPs are willing to give up everyone’s right to a peaceful nights sleep for a few extra jobs at Manston, regardless of what their constituents want. Maybe they would not be affected by the night flights as they live most of their time in their paid for pads in Central London. It amazes me how they continue to praise something, year after year, that has become a dead loss to the area. Even the RAF moved away. These grounds could prove more valuable as something else entirely. Surely this is a route that should be looked at for creating new jobs.[Kent Resident]

  2. Yet again a more than disappointing and depressing set of comments from our elected leaders. These comments prove their total disregard of thier constituents views and needs. We need to be able to get a full and undisturbed nights sleep. Indeed it is our Human Right to be able to do so, perhaps that is a line that should be pursued further??[Mike Lockwood]

  3. A few weeks ago on the local radio the DJ was announcing how delighted he was that KLM would be operating flights to Amsterdam. NoNightFlights could find out if he lives outside the affected area and if so invite him (by phoning his chat line and doing it publicly) and other supporters like Sir Roger Gale MP, Laura Sandys MP, Sandra Matthews-Marsh (chief executive at Visit Kent), David Foley (east Kent Chamber of Commerce chief executive), Cllr Bob Bayford (Thanet Conservative Group), and Cllr Clive Hart (Leader of Thanet District Council) to stand in our streets, have a cup of tea in our houses, while the planes are going over and witness the intolerable roar and distruption for themselves. All children who live in the area could be present and got together so they could see firsthand who their decisions are affecting. Reports could be got from experts, medicals and our local schools as to how these night flights affect our childrens’ health and education. It could especially be tied in to the recent reports of how people die earlier by living in an airport area. Manston is supposed to pay into a community fund if they breach the night flight agreement but in reality this is an empty gesture by both the airport and council. I have complained about the night flights on regular occasions and each time the airport gives the plane a noise reading of 4 and from what I understand the airport only pays into the community fund if they allocated an OVER 4 reading. But the planes are as loud and as low as can be so the scale is all wrong. The new airport proposal at Isle of Grain is proposing that the flight paths go over sea and no where near residential homes, towns and conservation (are the planes damaging our wonderful architecture and wildlife like parrakeets). This way it is no disruption to residents but they are still benefitting from jobs that are being created in the check-in areas and train transport. But surely the airport is incongrous with the town truly progressing. Who would want to buy a luxury penthouse in Royal Sands development with a jumbo going over your head day and night? How can you relax on our beaches or Ellington Park? Or shop? So how can the area attract upmarket businesses and trade? I’ve heard it suggested that Ramsgate could be another Brighton or Monte Carlo! Well they don’t have planes flying low over their buildings. I’ve heard that the coming of KLM to Manston will create 28 jobs. That is nothing compared to the potential jobs that could be created by the increased attracting of retail and leisure to the town such as the new UpDown Gallery and Boutique Hotel of Albion House. Why can’t we open the arches under Military Road and make them into cafes, restaurants (perhaps specialist fish), art gallerys, shops, like Brighton. Or celebrate and compliment our historical architecture and attract specialist and quality antique shops which could give purpose and quality to our flagging High Street. There are so many wonderful ideas that people have but the beauty and potential of Ramsgate appears to be being ruined.[J. Shepherd]

  4. Oh it’s so nice to hear our councilors are so happy KLM is coming to Manston. BUT FOR CHRIST’S SAKE – WAKE UP THERE NOT COMING FOR NOTHING, KCC ARE PAYING THEM 100,000 TO COME TO MANSTON. So Sir Roger, you could have done this 20 years ago – why didn’t you? It appears to me any airline will go to Manston as long as the price is right but you have to ask yourselves when will we get our money back & the answer to that is probably never. It just shows how much Infratil believes in Manston – they’re not paying for the airlines to come here, still why should they when they can pull the council strings to suit themselves. I think KCC will be broke before the airport succeeds. What you going to do then?[onlyfools]