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Charles BuchananMaxim PRInfratil

Open letter, simple question

Dear Charles Buchanan (CEO Manston), Maxim PR (Manston’s spin doctors), Infratil (Manston’s owners), and anyone who believes Manston’s job forecasts:

Have a look at THIS and then, if you like, do some research of your own into passenger/job ratios.

Then come back to this post and give us the names of, say, 3 UK airports that actually deliver 1,000 on-site jobs for every 1,000,000 passengers they handle – this is the ratio that Manston keeps promising.

You get extra points if any of them are regional airports of the size that Manston is forecasting for 2018 (2,000 onsite jobs for 2,286,000 passengers).

If Manston’s job forecasts are realistic, this should be easy to do.

The fact is that Manston’s job forecasts are absurdly exaggerated – a cruel and selfish deception on the people of Thanet and east Kent.

[First posted 9th Feb 2012]

[Re-posted 21st Feb 2012 – still no answer!]

[22nd Feb 2012 – sent formal request to Tom Wilson (Chief Executive, Infratil Airports Europe Ltd), Charles Buchanan (CEO Manston), and Andrew Metcalf (Director, Maxim PR) for their responses… stay tuned.]

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  1. Maurice Byford

    2,000,000 passengers? They will be struggling to achieve 20,000 a year.

  2. They (the airport) will probably go though the hoops this year to attempt some sort of jobs equation/justification for the Olympics!Talking of hoops I will throw this in the ring, Oh Dear's rhetoric does not stack up – but neither does Infratil's job figures. It will all of course be going to the wall shortly.

  3. John Wickham

    If these are SCHEDULED night-flights, then why, oh why can they not be RE-scheduled to land at Manston during the daytime??? I suspect the reason is, to do this, they will have to TAKE-OFF during night hours from an airport somewhere that has a ban on night-flights?No airport that is under-utilised during the day should be allowed to consider night-flightsIf there was money/jobs to be made at Manston Airport, someone would have done that years ago. Look at the history books, remember Ramsgate Airprt?

  4. In view of earlier comments on the suggested number of extra jobs that would be created at Manston Airfield should night flights be granted and there was an expansion in trade, the following information may be of interest. I have before me a copy of the Nethercourt, Southwood & St Lawrence Residents Association 2010 Winter Newsletter. Night flights were on the agenda, amongst other items. Councillor Mike Harrison (Chairman of the Airport Working Party) was our guest speaker in December, accompanied by Brian White (Director of Regeneration Services). At the end of discussions, questions were asked, one question in particular I find interesting. Q: Would it bring in more jobs? A: It would improve the position to bring in more passenger flights during the day, and this would bring in jobs. An estimated NINE MILLION passengers a year would mean 120 jobs.I think that figure may be nearer the truth, but given the fact that the airfield is not working to capacity at the present time, I think it fair to conclude that the present staff employed there may not be gainfully occupied for all the hours they work, therefore the 120 new jobs figure may also be an exaggeration.

  5. I'm sure "Oh Dear" is in favour of local democracy; at least, that's what he said when he stood for election. In his version of democracy a vocal minority of one (him) can dictate that everybody who disagrees with him (the rest of us) should move elsewhere. How does anybody end up being that arrogant and self-important?

  6. I agree that the job forecasts are wildly exaggerated. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to weigh up the arguments and see that the No Night Flights group has presented compelling evidence for this.Unfortunately, you do have to have the ability to approach things with an open-mind and to understand the difference between fact and opinion. For me, the real problem in all of this is that we have elected people to positions of authority who cannot do this. It's a bit like a kid's gang, where there is a Leader who has one or two henchmen. The rest of the gang are just there to do as they are told. If this debacle tells us anything, it is that we should never again allow political parties to control TDC. They are damaging the area because they are representing their own narrow political interests rather than the best interests of the people who elect them.

  7. I am hoping that after the Olympics all the stats, ie: flights in and out, Jobs temporary or otherwise, will give us a better insight into how we will get up to 3,000 jobs at Manston. As I have not seen a mention of this figure in any of the documents recently poked through my letterbox.

  8. Mr. Buchanan can't have it both ways. On the one hand he wants you to believe that there will only be 2 flights every night. On the other hand, he wants you to believe that there will be 3000 jobs. Let's look at it logically. In his Gazette article last week he talked about the cargo airlines bringing in fresh produce, which are reluctant to base themselves at Manston because of the night-time restrictions. So, the 2 flights every night are for cargo planes bringing in cut flowers and tomatoes. Have you watched when one of these old crates is unloaded? The freight is all palletized. A bloke with a fork-lift truck drives up to the plane and transfers the pallets to a waiting lorry. You wouldn't create 3000 jobs if you unloaded it using a straw.I'm afraid the economics of Infratil's proposal just don't stack up. What thinking person really believes that they will pay ATC, fire & rescue and ground crews to sit around all night, every night, waiting for the 2 flights? It would cost more in salaries than they would get in landing fees. No, I think people are right to be sceptical. For too long we have been fed airport employment figures which are based on nothing more than wishful thinking. This time we should demand the truth.