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Listen up, good people: your Quality of Life is at stake. Scheduled night flights would be a nightmare – you can help stop them before they start.

The current owners of Manston Airport are about to ask for permission to schedule passenger and cargo flights throughout the night. This is a major change in the way the airport is used, so Thanet District Council will be launching a public consultation.

My glum forecast is that this will turn out to be a ham-fisted and flaky exercise, with both TDC and Infratil (the airport owners) doing their best to engineer a “yes” result. Smoke and mirrors, misinformation and partial truths will all play their part.

I’ve been to some of the public meetings, and it’s clear that a lot of good people have a lot of good questions that need answering. What I am hoping to do is collect all those good questions in one place. They can then be honed and sharpened into sharp and deadly one- or two-liners, which everyone will then have at their fingertips, which could be very handy for the next meeting.

I’ve started you off with a couple of dozen – I expect you’ve got a few dozen more between you! Please use the Comments facility at the bottom of the article to:

  • add a new heading

  • add a new question

  • rephrase an existing question


A1. What area will be covered: Ramsgate, selected postcodes, everyone under the flight path… ?
A2. When will the consultation start and finish?
A3. How is TDC going to make sure that everyone knows about the consultation?
A4. What information will be provided before and during the consultation?
A5. Will the information provided be in plain English?
A6. Will there be a “Yes/No” to night flights question?
A7. How are the results going to be assessed and communicated?
A8. What if the majority say “No” to Night Flights?
A9. Will under-18s get the vote?
A10. How much is the consultation costing, and who’s paying?
A11. Will the consultation be just on Night Flights, or on a whole new S106?
etc., etc.


B1. How many planes?
B2. How noisy?
B3. What days of the week will they be flying?
B4. What times of day?
B5. What flight paths will they be using for take-offs to the East and West, and landings from the East and West?
B6. Will 2300-0700 (11pm to 7am) remain the working definition of “night”?
etc., etc.

C: Old (current) S106

C1. Why risk judicial review by extending S106 without having fully (or even adequately) enforced the existing one?
C2. Who decided not to enforce the existing S106, year after year?
etc., etc.

D: New S106

D1. How does TDC propose to monitor the new S106?
D2. How does TDC propose to enforce the new S106?
D3. What sanctions and fines are available to TDC under the new S106?
D4. Will TDC exercise the sanctions and impose fines?
etc., etc.


E1. Why not have more mobile sound monitors?
E2. How much does a mobile sound monitor cost?
E3. Where can we see the latest “sound footprint” maps?
etc., etc.


F1. Are there any analyses available to reassure us that the aquifer is clean?
F2. Is there an inspection programme in place to monitor the effects of increasing traffic on aquifer pollution?
etc., etc.

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