If only! Even the Department for Transport says that airport Master Plans tend to be so over-optimistic about future passenger numbers that it applies its own “pinch of salt” discount when it produces its national forecasts. For example: in 1991 Manchester Airport wanted to build a second runway, and promised this would create 50,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs. The …Read More »
It would be if it were true. However, their promises rely on everything in Manston’s Master Plan coming good. The Master Plan relies on a lot of other things happening, but doesn’t mention the need for scheduled night flights. These 2,000 promised jobs won’t be created by scheduled night flights. Infratil has never said how many jobs would be created …Read More »
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.
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 »
It's been a long time coming, but the wait is nearly over. York Aviation will be publishing the second half of their report tomorrow, supporting Manston's hare-brained notion that night flights will be the saving of the airport, and Thanet, and probably most of Kent.
The first part of York Aviation's report (supposedly) dealt with the economic and employment benefits of Manston getting busy - that was the carrot. The second part will cover the threat to Manston if it doesn't get the go-ahead for night flights - this is the stick.Read More »
This is from the internal KCC document that describes how the contract (to produce the supporting report for the £10m RGF bid) was awarded.
Outline of Project
Although KCC has previously carried out some outline feasibility work for the proposed Thanet Parkway station (most recently in July 2009), this requires significant updating and development; including more comprehensive passenger demand forecasting and a full feasibility design of the station and car park, if a robust and credible RGF bid is to be prepared. The Government is particularly interested in the job creation potential (both direct and indirect) of proposed schemes, which has not previously been a requirement of traditional transport appraisals. For these reasons, and in light of the challenging timescale for the submission of a first-round RGF bid, it was agreed with the Director of Integrated Strategy and Planning that KCC should invite three technical consultants to tender for this work.
Reasons for appointing this particular Consultant:Read More »
Special pleading, spineless bleating
Bosses at Manston are calling on the government to implement a "congestion charge" at London's main airports because of the "devastating impact" of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on smaller airports. The proposal is part of Manston's submission to the government's consultation on APD, which it is estimated could cost the public, visitors and businesses an extra £1bn a year.
Manston is arguing that the tax will severely hit regional economies, and in particular the tourism sector, by hindering the growth of regional airports. As a result Manston is proposing that the most effective way to deliver the government's "Better not Bigger" initiative is to set APD levels at a lower level for uncongested regional airports with significant available capacity to help alleviate congestion and improve the passenger experience at the main London airports.Read More »
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.Read More »
The once-secret KCC funding bid
Bureaucracy being what it is, KCC and Infratil were obliged to spell out in detail the brazen cheek of their cash plea. Do please remember that Infratil is a New Zealand-based investment company, and that whatever profits it can (finally) squeeze out of this lemon of an airport will be going straight back to their antipodean investors, still smarting from years of multi-million pound losses.Read More »
From the once-secret KCC funding bid
What a wondrous thing is the Freedom of Information Act. Without it, we wouldn't know what KCC had said to the money-bags at BIS in their plea for free money. They have repeatedly tried to dodge FOI requests, until finally cornered by our tireless truth-seekers.
It will come as no surprise to the more cynical of our international readership that it's not just the tone and emphasis of what KCC and Infratil say in their bid that differs from what they've been saying publicly, it's the numbers too.Read More »