OPPOSITION is mounting to the threat of sleep-busting night flights above Herne Bay. Kent International Airport owner Infratil is asking Thanet District Council to overturn the ban on regular night flying, which could lead to up to six cargo planes a night flying directly over the town. Shocked residents have claimed they only found out about the plan from the Herne Bay Times.
The Herne Bay Matters website has been bombarded with comments slamming the plan and urging townsfolk to sign an online petition opposing night flying. However, the scheme has also found some support from reader Victor Hibben, of Mill View Road, Herne, who accuses opponents of Nimbyism. He said:
“It would appear now we have a stable management base at Manston. Should we not put our individual concerns to one side and for once veer away from recent years of perpetual whining and moaning about projects for the future, and give thought to the future employment and prospects of our grandchildren and their children? Let us not miss an opportunity at Manston, let us look further than the end of our noses into what could be a success and give the management a chance to make Manston the pride of the South East.”
Mr Hibben said that he regularly experiences noise from flights overhead but claims he is not disturbed by it. He added:
“Of all these so-called protesters and campaigners, how many have flown to holiday destinations, or maybe on business? Have they had a pang of conscience when zooming into the sky at whatever time of the night, or rumbling back to Heathrow or Gatwick? Not in the slightest. Have any of them in all honesty refused to fly because of the noise or inconvenience to those whose lives are affected? How many will feel justified in preventing a charity flight taking off at night to aid stricken families abroad?”
Thanet council will launch a public consultation on the plans for regular night flights from November 1. It is expected to last until February, and officials plan to include an independent review of Infratil’s assessment of noise impact on surrounding towns and villages.
By jan thom