Home ... Tag Archives: Q&A

Tag Archives: Q&A

Liberty Hall

Is there anything I can’t do at this airport?

Well, regular scheduled night flights by the very noisiest freighters would get penalised, but...

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Green vs Greed

Are there any activities which might be prevented at Manston on environmental grounds?

Are you kidding?

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Sleep-shattering noise? Grand. Fine.

One of my airline clients has an Antonov, the noisiest freight aircraft in the world. Can I land this at Manston in the middle of the night?

No problem!

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Fly over Ramsgate all you want. Whatever.

I'm talking to an airline that wants to use its fleet of Boeing 737s to take off for Europe just after 6 o'clock in the morning every day. The S106 says I can do this. Can they save fuel by flying straight over the town of Ramsgate?

It's up to you, really.

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Manston swept away

Here’s a handy way of illustrating how much flexibility Manston Airport has under the current S106 agreement with Thanet District Council. Let us suppose that someone, somewhere, is interested in buying Manston. Clearly, this is hypothetical. Ruritanian-based airport operator Infidel has thrown caution to the wind and is sniffing around Thanet, looking for an airport to buy. Instead of, ahem, …

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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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What about the hundreds of indirect jobs the airport will create?

Indirect employment is just a way of double-counting people who are already employed in other industries. If every industry counted its indirect employment the way airports do, the number of people employed in British industry would far exceed the total UK population!

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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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