In the interests of even-handedness and fair play, I thought I would publish Manston's statement on the importance of night flights, despite it being crap. Large chunks of this have been regurgitated by the local press.
If you can bring yourself to plough through this litany of self-serving distortions and special pleadings, do please bear a few things in mind:
- The "independent" report was produced by York Aviation, who describe themselves thus: "A specialist firm of air transport consultants providing a complete consultancy service for the airports business, including aviation policy advice, economic impact assessment, air traffic forecasting, and specialist advice on airport capacity assessment and planning."
- The airport already had a ban on regular (i.e. scheduled) night flights when Infratil bought it. The long-standing S106 agreement with Thanet District Council allows for unavoidable and unscheduled late arrivals.
- I repeat: this is what they bought. It said "No Night Flights" on the tin when they picked it off the shelf.
- The thousands of jobs referred to throughout this blurb only exist in the forecasts made in Manston's Master Plan.
- Passenger airlines don't decide which airports to use on the basis of what times of day they can fly. They decide on the basis of whether their planes will be full or not.
- Infratil want to make Manston a 24-hour freight hub, and then sell it.
Charles Buchanan, CEO of Manston Tumbleweed Airport, has launched the next round of his campaign to make the airport more sellable. By his own admission, the airport is losing £5m a year, and the Kiwi overlords (Infratil) are desperate to rid themselves of this continual drain on resources. Infratil are up-market barrow boys, buying companies to asset-strip or invest in, …Read More »
Night-fly row Manston airport 'may shut'
Manston airport could shut down if it is not allowed to operate more night flights, its chief executive has said. Kent International Airport boss Charles Buchanan said commercial airlines would only use the site if they could fly early in the morning or late at night.
Thanet District Council is considering whether to grant permission for the airport to operate more night flights. Tory councillors said Thanet needed the jobs but Labour members said the airport was holding people to ransom. The hung council is made up of 27 Tory members, 26 Labour members and three Independent councillors.Read More »
Night flight ban could crush Manston
Airport chiefs at Manston say restricting night flights at Manston could strike a huge blow to the recovery of the local economy - and put the site’s very existance in doubt. According to the final part of independent research into its future economic impact, imposing stringest restriction could cost an estimated 1.3 million passengers and 67,000 tonnes of freight by the 2018.
The airport wants to expand its flight times as it seeks to grow - but opponents say such a move would create more noise for residents. Thanet District Council has been split by the proposals - with the Tory group backing them and Labour opposing. The Conservatives hold a one-seat majority at the local authority.Read More »
Thanet District Council's Penny Button Penny.Button@thanet.gov.uk has special responsibility for Manston Airport. Here's what she had to say to one of the many unhappy residents who contacted her:
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Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding an aircraft movement associated with Kent International Airport. The statutory powers available to Thanet District Council to deal with noise exclude aircraft noise, however, we do have a voluntary Town & Country Planning Act S106 agreement with the airport operator which contains some sanctions with regard to aircraft movements.
The Thanet Labour group has tabled a resolution over night flights from Manston airport at the district council's next meeting. The motion calls for the council to adopt a policy of not allowing scheduled or planned flights between 11pm and 7am and to rule that any arrivals or departures in an extra hour either side be subject to a fine. Exceptions to the ban would include "mercy flights" and flights for medical emergencies under Labour's proposals.Read More »