Home ... NNF ... Manston ... Sanctions busting at Manston

Many of you have been wondering why the state airline of a pariah nation regularly visits a failing airport in the corner of England.

A while ago, I was told that Iran Air come to Manston to refuel, which struck me as a "reasonable reason" but a woefully inadequate explanation. Things are now becoming clearer...

Sanctions busting at Manston

Many of you have been wondering why the state airline of a pariah nation regularly visits a failing airport in the corner of England.

A while ago, I was told that Iran Air come to Manston to refuel, which struck me as a “reasonable reason” but a woefully inadequate explanation. Things are now becoming clearer…

For a number of historical reasons, Iran and USA are not best mates. The USA are currently showing their dislike of Iran through sanctions – read about the sanctions here. American foreign policy is conducted in such a way as to try to compel the rest of the world to follow their lead. The Americans “forbid companies and governments with economic ties with the US to trade with Iran”.

Depending on your viewpoint, this can be regarded as the effective use of economic leverage, or as blackmail. Either way, it seems to be working, in as much as Iran Air is desperately short of spare parts to maintain its fleet. The inevitable impact on airworthiness probably explains why most of Iran Air’s aircraft are banned from European airspace – read about the ban here. This BBC video clip shows a passenger explaining how the Iran Air plane’s tyres burst when it landed at Manston, stranding the hapless Iranians in Thanet for the night.

Although the small fraction of Iran Air’s fleet that is regarded as airworthy is allowed to land in London (not sure what they do about landing fees) they have to refuel elsewhere. Manton is apparently “devoid of American trade connections” and is thus free to flaunt the American sanctions without fear of retribution. If Manston ever tries running flights to the States, I expect they will find that the US Government and the Federal Aviation Authority have long and unforgiving memories. (Incidentally, does anyone know if Infratil has any “economic ties with the US”?)

So there you have it – Manston can get away with selling jet fuel to the Iranians because they are insignificant enough to slip through the American’s sanctions net. When viewed alongside the track records some of Manston’s other customers – MK Airlines’ stop-frame bankruptcy; Kam Air’s DC-8 close brush with disaster; Cargolux’s part in the international criminal price-fixing cartel – it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Manston: judge them by the companies they keep.

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  1. Charles Mans(t)on and more icons of evil!

  2. Billabong boy

    This New Zealand company is an absolute disgrace. Our boys are fighting (in Afghanistan) and are now being stabbed in the back, not only by the HMRC, and UKBA, but now Manston!!!!

  3. Loving the desperate attempts by government officials to claim that there is a customs presence at Manston and other dinky little airports. My researches suggest that customs only turn up if they are given notice of an arrival. When most of the things turning up in the middle of the night have been unavoidably delayed in some third-rate, third-world airport, it isn't really possible for them to have given 12 hours notice of their arrival.

  4. I guess its not blackmail…It's an INEFFECTIVE use of economic leverage!

  5. Denis Cannon

    So let's tell the Americans. I am regularly on a USA political website where all the problems of the world are discussed, so I will try to make a big thing of this on there and see what happens.

  6. Buchanan is a disgrace as is Bob Bayford – TDC have been well known for taking baksheesh over the last 30yrs – surely they cant all afford these large houses on their meagre salaries!! This council is so in bed with Manston. Buchanan/Wills etc are dodgy as you like and should be brought to light in the National press, not just the local but National.

  7. Another thought here.If there are any illegal immigrants or asylum seekers on these unwanted planes they have to be housed and looked after in the area where they land !!!!!!!!

  8. The equalizer

    We are too soft in this country and have only ourselves to blame. We go along with whatever the EU say and it is only now that these absurd laws are turning round to bite us. We should look after our own interests and if that upsets Europe… so be it. As of Manston, they are so desperate for business that even Iran Air can land there rickety old planes here regardless of our safety… Makes you want to puke.

  9. Just a thought , I read a little while ago that the British Government M.O.D. still own the runway at Manston Airfield and that the upkeep of this facility costs the British tax payer something in the region of 3 million pounds a year. I wonder if the information on this site was and still is correct. If this be a fact then these planes should not be landing here anyway.

  10. Ashley I think is correct. By the way what about the tunnels under Manston & WHAT is in them?

  11. Billabong boys mate

    I see that the worthless government allowed another sanction busting flight in yesterday!!!!

  12. o how wrong you are, the airport runway is not owned maintained or has anything to do with the MOD since the sale of the airport….get your fact right….this is why people struggle to believe your type because you spill out crap.Tunnels under Manston…….keep believing it old chum………making yourself look an arse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Billabong boys mate

    Oh but their are tunnels under the airport old boy…you get your facts right A**E!!!!!!

  14. Plane Spotter

    I heard that somehow from December, IRANAIR will not be welcomed in Manston. How true I dont know, but I think has something to do with the British New Sanctions.

  15. The point that I am trying to make here is this… there is a lot of work done by people concerned about night flights at the airport… and most of it good work. However, this is getting mixed in with people who have a tiny bit of knowledge spouting off and undoing this good work.Take the lady in Herne Bay at the bandstand the other weekend, asking people to sign her petition and that the wheels of the plane were just off her roof and she could see the pilot struggling with the controls she goes on to say she is collecting on behalf of the no night flights group… within minutes a 747 is overhead and people questioned how she could see the pilot? Rather red faced she left.The other is on you tube with the lady stating that the con trails overhead are chemical trails from Manston???? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing… I live under the flight path in Herne Bay and while I want the airport to grow I do agree this should be pushed for during the day rather than night, however, setting a limit is better than what is in place now.The tunnel thing… having worked alongside D.O.E and P.S.A as they were in the day, maintaining the civil works at the Fire School and the airport, there are no tunnels under the airport… two water pipes are in place at either end of the runway… when the passenger apron was expanded no tunnels were found on the eastern side of the airport… when the car park was built no tunnels were found… when the freight apron was extended 1st time and 2nd time on the western side no tunnels were found… when the drainage pipe was installed no tunnels were found… when the ground radar survey was conducted no tunnels were found… BUT… there is one tunnel close by but not inside the airport boundry fence. 🙂

  16. Billabong boy

    So the large drains that you could walk down are not Tunnels in the sense of the word? Perhaps a nice photo of the fire school cloud would jog your memory of the diffuse pollution affects and yes we all now how important it is to have safety training but the lack of an EIA for the airport frankly does not cut the mustard old boy… oh well back to the school bike shed?

  17. Frutus Kiwius

    Are horses from/to America barred from landing via a circular route?

  18. And the fire school and airport are linked how???? you have lost me on this one??

  19. Frutus Kiwius

    The underground aquifers and that the RAF have or did then (they have not now) immunity from prosecution for fire practise all over the airport… hence diffuse pollution. Black cloud goes up, particulates come down and more diffuse pollution on the aquifers and arable land, this equally applies to old planes such as the DC8's and others.

  20. Thank you Frutus, now I see where the link is coming from…….the DC8 appears to be powered by coal!!!!!!! I didn't think that the airport has a fire ground for their fire teams?

  21. Frutus Kiwius

    No the DC8 has old engines with so called hush kits, the black crap coming out of the exhausts is a diffuse pollutant? I suggest you read up on alkanes and the like. Now my car and many newer ones have particulate filters, no such thing for ageing jets or newer ones for that matter. I am now bored with this subject!!!!

  22. I was only making light of old engines that look like they are coal powered…..off subject…..closed.

  23. Usual bollocks that we have come to expect from the geriatric idiots with too much time on their hands that run this joke. What was it recently? Something about if night flights are allowed the tourist trade will disappear. That's those NIGHT flights between 6-7 am and 10.30 and Midnight and where's the proof that this tourist trade, if indeed it exists at all, will suddenly disappear.Oh and don't forget to keep pushing the aquifers and the danger to life that is the fire school even though it is training people to actually save lives and might even save yours one day but then I doubt it because nobody is going to get you up in one of those dreadful, noisy, polluting aeroplanes are they?Oh and while you're at it you might as well throw in the fact that these night flights might endanger the Greater Crested Newt population – that's always good to chuck into any argument when you look like losing as you will with this one.Never mind, come Spring you will have a nice, new noisy airline to complain about – now look what I have done, go on, admit it you're feeling better already.

  24. DebunkBoy… respect please for your elders or indeed anyone that has clearly considered the broad range of facts and complex issues regarding No Night Flights, to an extent that you may not be able to imagine.Let's hope you don't get old.

  25. Wibbly wobbly wallabee

    Debunkboy… aptly named, boy!!

  26. Local businesswoman

    DebunkBoy – read the Infratil application. It allows for unlimited scheduled night flights up to 11.30pm; unlimited scheduled night flights after 6am; 1.8 (on average) scheduled night flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am; PLUS all those late/early night flights that were scheduled to be before 11.30pm or after 6.00am but that, accidentally (?), arrived late or early. So, that's unlimited night flights then.Next thing to understand – these are freight flights. Read Buchanan's repeated statements.Put the two facts together – unlimited night flights will make Ramsgate a tourist destination that people will stay away from in droves. Who goes on holiday to listen to freight flights over them at a height of less than 1,000 feet all night, every night? A tad of common sense will tell you that this will create serious problems for the major industry in Ramsgate – tourism – and that there will be a loss of employment as a result.I've no idea why you assume that everyone who expresses concern on this blog is geriatric, nor why it would make a difference to their right to express an opinion if they were. For my part, I create local businesses. I'm in a position to create more local jobs. I'm not investing another penny in this area until I know that Thanet Council has come to its senses and and refused the night flight application. And I'm not the only one. Ramsgate lost the opportunity for a new employer much, much bigger than me to settle here. Why? Because the new employer saw the airport and its bid for night flights as a real problem for their future ability to attract employees. The night flight application is already causing harm to the area.

  27. Do we have hard proof that this huge employer didn't move in directly because of the airports nights flights then???? would be good to take it to them and show them.

  28. Them old geriactics spent their youth fighting for Britain, but for them you would be speaking German and working in a slave camp. They deserve some peace and quiet, they stood firm against Hitler so Infratil will be a pushover. Get your brain in gear if you have one before you blog. Stargazer