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Tag Archives: economy

Number-crunching

Charles Buchanan (CEO, Manston Airport) from the night flights proposal: Today some 110 staff are employed by the airport, with approximately a further 40 employed in servicing the operation of the airport. The airport currently generates £4.5m GVA (Gross Added Value) of which some £3.8m is within the Thanet economy … development in line with the published Master Plan would …

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Manston makes night-time submission

A Kent airport has resubmitted its proposals for night flights. Manston airport, near Ramsgate, has asked Thanet Council for permission to run at least six flights between 11pm and 7am. Bosses said the plans would create around 3,000 jobs by 2018 and are vital for the long-term future of the company. Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive at Manston, commented:

"For the airport to be commercially viable in the longer term and deliver for Kent what other airports have done for their regions, it is vital that we are allowed to compete in terms of the operating hours."

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Wouldn’t it be a huge boost for the local tourist industry if Manston could actually develop a viable passenger business?

The research says that it wouldn’t. The UK exports tourists rather than importing them - more Brits fly abroad for their holidays than foreigners come here.

The UK currently runs a “tourism deficit” of £19 billion a year and about £17 billion of that flies out of the UK every year with people flying abroad on holiday. This aviation tourism deficit is costing the UK about 900,000 jobs a year because people spend their money abroad instead of here.

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Straight from the horse’s orifice…

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.

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Open and Shut Basket Case 2

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.

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Transatlantic plans for Manston

A new airline has declared an interest in operating transatlantic flights from Manston. FlyInvicta.com is looking to initially run day-time flights between the East Kent airport and New York. The fledgling company has contacted Manston Airport chiefs to notify them of their intentions.

FlyInvicta.com stressed that the Manston to New York route was far from a done deal and that they were also in talks with airports in London, the north of England and mainland Europe. The company is also in the process of raising the necessary funding required to secure its short to medium-term future against factors such as rising fuel costs and a proposed rise in airport tax.

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Council reveals unsuccessful bid to develop Manston services

It's like pulling teeth

Kent County Council has been forced to reveal details of its unsuccessful £10.8 million bid for Government money to develop services for Manston airport.  Campaigners, No Night Flights, challenged KCC's refusal to release details of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) application.

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Manston boss claims it wasn’t a “sweetener”

Charles Buchanan, chief executive, Kent International Airport, ManstonBitter-sweetener

Manston's boss has defended efforts to persuade the government to underwrite the costs of a new service out of the Kent airport. Chief executive Charles Buchanan said subsidies from the public purse were commonplace and it was unfair to describe them as sweeteners.

His comments follow our disclosure that KCC and Infratil, which operates the airport, had sought to persuade ministers to provide £600,000 to underwrite a twice-daily service out of Manston for the first three years of its operation.

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£600k airport ‘sweetener’

The government has been urged to offer a £600,000 "sweetener" to an unnamed commercial airline planning a new daily service from Manston airport, it has emerged.

The airport operator Infratil is in advanced confidential talks with an unidentified airline which has plans for a twice-daily service to an unnamed European destination from next April. Now it has been revealed Kent County Council and operators Infratil pressed for a taxpayers’ handout to underwrite the costs of the service for three years, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

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