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Tag Archives: Heathrow

Study casts doubt on night flight benefits

Plans for night flights at Manston International Airport have been shot down by an independent report. Herne Bay campaigner Phil Rose said:

“This confirms a lot of what the No Night Flights campaign has been saying for the past two years. The original proposal and back-up documents submitted by Infratil were putting a very, very, positive spin on things. They were promising more than the airport could deliver, and they understated the effect night flights would have on the local population.”

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Location, Location, Location

It's refreshing to see an independent review of Manston's present and future prospects that doesn't shy away from stating the obvious - a successful passenger airport needs plenty of passengers within a convenient distance, and a successful freight airport needs plenty of customers within a profitable distance.

The Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) report says Manston airport is in the wrong place:

[p6] Given the geographic location of Manston it is unlikely that carriers would show much interest for inbound traffic from key European city links – we would argue this would only be relevant if Manston was strategically placed near to a large city or a region with a large catchment area.

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44 flights a night at Manston?

On the bright side, these figures are for the upper limits allowed - it's unlikely that Manston will actually take this many, simply because it's in an inconvenient location.

However, if it gets anything like this number, it would be a useful "experiment" to show everyone what full-time scheduled night flights would be like. Perhaps it would be a good idea to hold the public consultation on night flights after the Olympics...

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Boris Island must never be able to get off the ground

Any new major airport near the Thames Estuary is impractical because of politics and birds

 

At first the idea of a new airport on, or even in, the Thames Estuary seemed to be just one of the Mayor of London's less amusing flights of fancy, but now the arrival of a proposal by the architect Norman Foster has given it some respectability. The idea of replacing Heathrow and moving east is not new. Forty years ago, Maplin Sands, off Essex, was held up as a possible site, but interest soon dwindled and the present proposals seem just as likely to fade when confronted by the real situation: that a new airport is both impractical and unnecessary.

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Manston winces in the glare of publicity

The Iran Air Fuel Fiasco has been an international PR disaster for the airport. As Maxim PR (the airport's own PR company) says on its website: "You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep".

One consequence of this shambles is that all Manston's customers will be watched more closely in future, which may not please all of them.

Charles Buchanan's comments in this BBC article make it clear that it is the airport's desperation for money that led them into this geo-political minefield, and that they're giving up this revenue stream very reluctantly. Incidentally, this story makes a lot more sense if you replace the word "ethics" with the phrase "public relations"...

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Manston: “Airports could go out of business”

Some regional airports could go out of business if the Government fails to recognise their important role in easing the nation’s capacity crisis. That's the warning from Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan.

He argues that direct and immediate action is needed to resolve the short and long-term airport capacity shortages at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted where new runways have been ruled out indefinitely. In Manston's submission to a consultation on aviation policy, he urges the Government to look to existing regional airports to buy time for longer term plans to be explored.

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Blimey! A politician talking sense!

Don't get your hopes up, though - she's not in Kent...

This is Mary Macleod, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, who is lucky enough to have Heathrow Airport in her constituency. She is concerned about the health effects of night flights, and advocates phasing them out. How sensible! (By way of contrast, my MP is Roger Gale.)


Night Flights at Heathrow Airport 25th May 2011

In a debate in Parliament yesterday, during Noise Action Week, I challenged the Government to ban night flights at Heathrow airport on the grounds of health and quality of life factors for local residents.

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Manston calls for ‘congestion charge’ on bigger airports

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.

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