Home ... NNF ... Manston ... Location, location, location matters for airports too

Manston isn't Outer London. It's out of London.

Well, there are several airports that have leapt on the global branding bandwagon and smuggled the word 'London' into their name, with varying degrees of geographical accuracy.

(A special mention must go to "London Ashford Airport": 60 miles from London, 13 miles from Ashford, 1 mile from Lydd. It seems the greater the distance, the more prominent the billing - it's full title is actually "Jupiter Brazil London Ashford Airport".)

Location, location, location matters for airports too

Manston isn’t Outer London. It’s out of London.

Well, there are several airports that have leapt on the global branding bandwagon and smuggled the word ‘London’ into their name, with varying degrees of geographical accuracy.

(A special mention must go to “London Ashford Airport”: 60 miles from London, 13 miles from Ashford, 1 mile from Lydd. It seems the greater the distance, the more prominent the billing – it’s full title is actually “Jupiter Brazil London Ashford Airport”.)

So, JBLA to one side, what are we left with? Well, starting from where London actually is, you can see that London City is pretty much a slam-dunk – 9/10 for accuracy. Spiralling out clockwise from the south, we have Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted, Southend and Manston. Yes, folks, Manston’s even further from London-land than the fantasists at Lydd.

‘Location, location, location’ does matter and this seems to be a persistent blind spot for many when it comes to discussing Manston’s viability. It may have a lovely long runway, but it’s in the wrong place.

Draw a circle with a 20, 30 or 50 mile radius around all the ‘London’ airports, and Manston’s circle will have the least land in it – because it’s on a peninsula. In terms of population within the catchment area, it may just nudge ahead of Lydd, but will always be well behind the others. It’s not a great place for a high volume passenger airport. Not that great for freight either, being so far from the highest densities of people and industry.

On with your thinking cap, dear reader, for soon I will be asking for your best efforts on two topics: how would you make a sustainable success out of Manston as an airport; and how would you make a sustainable success out of the Manston site as a non-airport.

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  1. Build a lorry park

  2. Shorten the runway a smidgen and put your house on it as you seem to spend sooooooooo much time lusting after it. Have you got a life? or do you really spend every aching moment wondering about your next Manston story you sad little earplug..

  3. Here's what I observe, both on this blog and on the SMEG blog – people who live near the airport or under the flightpath and who don't want to have noisy, polluting aircraft flying over them day and night, post their views and questions in an adult fashion. Manston fans (though what appeals to them I'm not sure) post abuse and imply that others are not entitled to hold an opinion that differs from their own. I have seen a number of instances on this blog or on SMEG where the blogger shares facts, comments on them or puts up questions seeking more facts. What comes back from the "pro" lobby is exactly the kind of response that STL has given above – "you're sad" – or Jeremy's earlier reply "if you had a brain you would be dangerous". I don't see any facts coming back that smash the blogger's argument into the ground. Could it be that there are no real facts that the pro lobby can offer that can demonstrate why Manston is a really, really, good idea? If they had really good arguments to offer, they would do so, wouldn't they, rather than resort to insults?

  4. I agree with the above analysis..with one exception. There is no pro-lobby any more. Most people have accepted that the airport is dying and that it's just a matter of time now before Infratil pulls the plug. However, there is a lone lunatic who spends his life infesting blogs and posting pro-airport garbage. It's a lost cause and no amount of spin will save it now.