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Tag Archives: Master Plan

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#Manston #nightflights


EAST KENT FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GROUP.

Our Group is opposed to any night flights at Manston up to 4 flights per nights would only increase the adverse noise impact for local residents and people as far away as Herne Bay and Sandwich.

Kent International Airport has underestimated the potential noise impact as the consultant’s report clearly points out local residents are experiencing considerable noise now with day time flights they shouldn’t be expected to tolerate it at night also.

The Airport Master Plan claims that Manston could handle 2.29m passengers and 167.500 tonnes of freight by 2018 whilst creating up to 2000 new jobs. This figure is grossly over optimistic for such a short timescale we understand that Thanet has long-term economic difficulties and high unemployment but expanding flights at Manston is not a long term answer to these serious problems. Firstly how are Thanet and East Kent roads expected to cope with all the extra car journeys and lorry movements expansion at Manston would generate.

Also how can increasing flights be compatible with The Climate Change Act, The UK will have little chance of cutting C02 emissions be 80% by 2050 if Airport are allowed to keep increasing flights. Britain needs to reduce air travel especially internal flights. France has shown that expanding high speed rail is the way forward many more people there are choosing rail than internal flights. Our Group does support linking Manston to the rail network and a new Manston Parkway Station which would be served by South Eastern High Speed Services. We support any measures to improve public transport and cycling routes between Manston and the rest of Thanet and East Kent.

We hope Thanet District Council will consider the long term adverse environmental effects of allowing night flights and further expansion at Manston and will reject Kent International Airports plans.


Click to have your say in the Public Consultation on Night Flights


Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to register my objection to the proposed scheduled night flights proposal submitted by Infratil to Thanet District Council.

I am against this proposal for a number of reasons, which I would like to outline below.

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Night Flights are for Freight

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) put Manston’s request in the context of increasing demand for aviation services, particularly in the south-east of England:

[p3] … the demand for aviation services is set to dramatically increase in the next 20 years. The conclusion is therefore that better use needs to be made of the existing facilities.

The obvious solution would be for Manston to use its daytime capacity, but this never gets a mention.

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Manston dragging its heels over night flights

No haste = no need

OK, let's just make sure we've got this straight...

The night flights that Manston is hankering after have been portrayed as essential, crucial, make-or-break. Without them, so we are told, the airport won't be able to deliver on its fairytale Master Plan.

I find this VERY hard to square with (a) any facts in the real world, and (b) the airport's conduct over the last year. If night flights really did matter so much, why would they spend a YEAR dragging their heels?

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Is it true that every 1 million passengers creates 1,000 jobs?

Far from it. You’ve only got to look at airports that have the kind of passenger business that Manston hopes for to see the truth:

Bristol – 439 jobs per million passengers.

Bournemouth – 408 jobs per million passengers now, and expected to fall to 247 by 2015

Prestwick (another Infratil airport) – 248 jobs per million passengers, and that was before the last two rounds of redundancies.

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Surely we can trust Infratil’s numbers?

Infratil (who own Manston) also own Prestwick Airport near Glasgow. In autumn 2008 Infratil’s forecast for passenger numbers at Prestwick was 5.7 million by 2018 and 12 million by 2033...

Almost immediately, freight and passenger business plummeted, and Prestwick ran at a loss for the rest of the year. Shortly after that, 50 staff lost their job. By autumn 2010, passenger business had fallen so much that another 120 staff had been made redundant... so much for Infratil’s forecasts.

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If it’s in the Master Plan, it must be right. Right?

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 …

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Over 2,000 airport jobs if Manston gets night flights – isn’t that great?

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 …

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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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Sticky numbers

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.

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Protesters claim research is misleading

Campaigners against proposals for regular night flights at Manston airport have questioned research claiming growth would provide 3,000 jobs. Campaigners from the No To Night Flights group questioned the basis for the figures. They claim Bournemouth airport handles 1 million passengers with 247 jobs and Stansted estimated its jobs total will soon fall to 330 per 1 million passengers.

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