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Night Flights? No thanks – and here’s why…

The Proposal

  • scheduled night flights are currently banned, but the airport already has the flexibility to handle late arrivals
  • the proposal is for SCHEDULED night flights… you will go to bed every Monday night knowing that you will be woken at, say, 1:30am and 4am

TDC’s report says

  • these night flights are for freight, not passenger flights
  • the proposal exaggerates the economic benefit – night flights won’t necessarily make jobs
  • the proposal understates the noise nuisance from night flights


  • night time is from 11pm until 7am – this is the standard definition, as used in the existing agreement, and throughout the aviation industry, and in national and international legislation
  • BUT… the new proposal wants to shorten it to 11:30pm until 6am – stealing 1½ hours of your night!
  • restrictions would only apply to this new shorter “night” – the other 1½ hours would be completely unrestricted, just like the daytime


  • if Manston had the same proportion of night flights as Heathrow, there would be 15 night flights a year
  • Manston want 659 flights a year in this new shorter “night” – an average of 1.8 each night… could be none on Monday, none on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday
  • between 11pm and 11:30pm, there would be no limit on the number of flights
  • between 6am and 7am, there would be no limit on the number of flights
  • any plane due in before 11:30pm that’s late would be allowed to land between 11:30pm and 6am
  • any plane due in after 6am that’s early would be allowed to land between 11:30pm and 6am
  • in practice, this proposal would mean unlimited flights between 11pm and 7am


  • the European Court of Human Rights says that sleep is a human right
  • never mind the decibels, here’s a rule of thumb: if it wakes you up, it’s too loud
  • even if it doesn’t wake you, night noise can disturb your sleep patterns, leaving you less rested, and with raised blood pressure
  • even if it doesn’t bother you, spare a thought for your family, friends and neighbours who are bothered by the noise
  • anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression, will experience increased suffering
  • sleep deprivation means children perform less well in school
  • sleep deprivation increases the risk of accidents at home, on the roads and at work
  • noise isn’t just annoying: it’s dangerous, and can even be deadly


  • after 11 years, Manston employs just 110 people, some part-time. 66% live in Thanet.
  • the average pay at Manston is lower than the average pay in Thanet
  • most of the “jobs” Infratil say will be created are imaginary – the result of totting up tiny statistical fractions of jobs: the fuel delivery driver in East Africa, the barber in Ramsgate who cuts the pilot’s hair, etc
  • the aviation industry has become increasingly automated, and less reliant on people – just 20% more people could handle double the current UK air traffic
  • Manston recently admitted that if they doubled the amount of freight they handle, and increased the passengers from 30,000 a year to ¾ million a year, they would create just 23 new jobs
  • jobs created at and near airports are heavily outnumbered by jobs lost in the domestic tourism and hospitality industries


  • Manston has plenty of spare capacity in the daytime
  • the proposal has no fines or penalties if Manston breaks the limits

 … and that’s just for starters! Do feel free to use the Comments to add your own suggestions.

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