Home ... NNF


NNF – No Night Flights

Campaigning against night flights at Manston.

See the mountain of excellent stuff we’ve submitted to the DCO inquiry – just click here!

You can help us HUGELY by making a donation, with PayPal or any major credit card, using the Donate button.


Leaflets of Joy!

Click the pic to download a leaflet

Natty picture on the front, with interesting words on the back about how Manston fits in to the Local Plan. Perfect!

Click the pic to download a poster for your window

poster b 30-10-2010 22-48-02 poster c 30-10-2010 22-47-33


The story so far…

Manston Airport closed in May 2014, and throughout it’s years of commercial operation, the S106 agreement with Thanet District Council banned “Regular Night Flying Operations”.


There were a few exceptions – for example, “humanitarian mercy or emergency flights by relief organisations” were excluded, but even then the Council limited them to “not more than 12 occasions in any calendar year”. Manston was also occasionally used for military flights, usually linked to relief efforts in war zones.

We have always excluded the so-called AHEM flights (Aid, Humanitarian, Emergency, Military) from our campaign. Our concern has always been scheduled night flights, so let’s start with the simple stuff: what counts as night?


Night time runs from 2300 to 0700 (or in old money) Night time runs from 11pm to 7am

This is the standard definition of night time, as used throughout the aviation industry globally, nationally, and locally. Shun anyone who tries to tell you differently – they are trying to move the goalposts, and they are trying to steal your sleep.


Apart from the AHEM flights mentioned above, who else could we expect to turn up in the small hours? There were occasional diversions, when planes were diverted from their original destination for any one of a number of good reasons. Diversions only happen through urgency or emergency, at day or night, and just have to be accepted. (Significantly, despite being under some of the busiest skies in Europe, Manston was hardly ever used for diversions – usually in single figures and accounting for less than 0.5% of the national total in any year.)

Delayed flights

By far the commonest unscheduled night flight is simply a delayed day flight. Delays are unavoidable, and unsurprisingly the S106 that banned scheduled night flights but made allowance for AHEM flights also had provisions to cover delayed flights – the airport would face a scale of increasing fines.


Finally, we have the question of what counts as a scheduled flight. If there’s a timetable with night flights on, that’s clear enough. But what happens if a flight expected at 10pm is always 3 hours late? In practice, to date, it has been the airport operator that has decided whether a flight is “scheduled” or not.

The latest threat

The No Night Flights group has campaigned successfully since 2009 to prevent the introduction of scheduled night flights at Manston, and with the airport’s closure in 2014, we had thought the threat had passed. If only!

RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd (RSP) say they can run a successful cargo hub airport at Manston, and are running a second round of public consultations from Friday 12 January to Friday 16 February 2018 – see their site for the latest on times and venues.

To find out what the proposals could mean for you, hurry on over to our chums at Manston Pickle.

In the box below is the 25 page “non-technical summary” of their proposals. The full proposal is about 3,500 pages. Really.

Download (PDF, 2.95MB)





  1. Trevor Roper

    Living just outside Minster and close to the airport, I am naturally worried about the proposals being put forward by Riveroak Strategic Partners. I have just received a letter informing me of an “event” they are holding at Minster Village Hall on Tuesday 27th June from 7.00pm.
    They are proposing to give a short presentation followed by a question and answer session! It would be great if as many people as possible could attend as their proposals are frightening – they are claiming that :
    * up to 30,000 jobs could be created over the next 20 years.
    * there is a “working assumption” that their “Might be” a maximum of up to 8 night flights i.e. between 2300 and 0600 hours.
    * they are also suggesting that there may be 10,000 cargo flights per year, plus of course passenger flights!

    Their “consultation” lasts until Sunday 23rd July, so if you want to find out more then their web site is http://www.rsp.co.uk.

    I hope to see you in Minster on Tuesday?

  2. I like many other people live directly under the flight path of Manston. The proposed reopening of the airport will not only reduce the price of properties in the area but will damage health, flying being allowed 24/7. This is a total waste of time the roads in the area often have trouble with traffic volume now. With much more freight traffic coming out of Manston the roads will be congested to overload. Thanet will loose most of it’s tourist trade. After all who wants to holiday with the constant sound of large cargo aircraft taking off and landing.
    Keep Manston closed. Better pull it down and build houses complete with the necessary infrastructure to support the area. Bring in small business to create work. Far more work than a cargo airport can supply. Reopening Manston will not generate the income we are led to believe it will. We all know aircraft were supposed to fly in and out over the sea, but it never happened. I live in Herne Bay and the previous cargo aircraft flew directly over my house. Manston was needed in WW2 but not now. It has had it’s day.

  3. Mike Lockwood

    Covid 19 has caused a massive shutdown of air traffic both passenger and cargo. With aircraft parked up all over the world and food still getting imported into GB this has clearly demonstrated there is absolutely no need for Manston to re-open in any shape or form as an Airport. There is also no requirement for an aircraft scrapyard at manston as in many places in the world, including Ireland, there are such facilities in full swing. So, forget old out of date old Gale’s artful plan to open it as an airport and look at some more innovative suggestions perhaps something on the lines of Alton Towers would be more exciting and far less polluting.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.