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Tag Archives: Quota

Elephant in the room: the biggest lies hide in plain sight

Charles Buchanan (Manston's CEO) recently published his night flights manifesto.

He had a page of his own in the Isle of Thanet Gazette to tell the world how important and wonderful night flights will be. He opened with:

"Firstly, I would like to make clear we are asking for limited, managed and mitigated night-time operations policy - not unlimited night flights."

Let's look a bit more closely at the last four words of that sentence, the ones that sound quite reassuring.

We all understand the word "not", so that's OK. And we all understand what Mr Buchanan means when he says "flight", so that's fine.

What about "night"?

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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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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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Noise Nuisance Under-stated

Manston's night flying application was backed up by a report on noise nuisance from Bickerdike Allen Partners (BAP). The BAP report assumes that house windows are closed all year, thus understating the decibels heard by residents by 27dB.

The Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) report picks up on this:

[p15] This of course fails to consider the partially open window situation described in both WHO guidelines and PPG24, which might be expected in the late spring, summer and early autumn months of the year. This corresponds to the months of year covered by the summer timetable in which the bulk of activity occurs at most airports in the UK.

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Quick question

A reader writes:

Have recently become more involved in NNF's campaign. Much to digest and eventually understand. Have emailed Manston, MP/councillors about recent flights - as per your website advice.

What I don't quite understand at the moment is - when flights do come over during the restricted hours - who/which organisation has responsibility to decide if they are operating outside of the current agreement/legislation and then who/what organisation then places fines etc onto Infratil?

Thank you for your time.

SM

Hmmm... good questions, which highlight the shortcomings of the current S106 agreement between the Council and the airport.

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Campaigners anger at bid to introduce night flights

Airport owners have been accused of trying to "pull a fast one" after revealing new plans for night flights over Herne Bay. Controversy has boiled for the past two years over the policy, with Manston Airport owners Infratil keen to boost the number of night flights at the Thanet airport.

Under the current agreement the airport is not allowed any scheduled flights between 11pm and 7am. But in a new revised proposal submitted on Friday, Infratil says it will limit any flights between 11.30pm and 6am to less than two a night and will comply with a strict noise quota.

But the policy leaves them free to fly as many planes as they want - unrestricted by noise limits - between 11pm and 11.30pm and 6am and 7am.

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Woken in the small hours, 10th July

Thanet District Council's Penny Button Penny.Button@thanet.gov.uk has special responsibility for Manston Airport. Here's what she had to say to one of the many unhappy residents who contacted her:


Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding an aircraft movement associated with Kent International Airport. The statutory powers available to Thanet District Council to deal with noise exclude aircraft noise, however, we do have a voluntary Town & Country Planning Act S106 agreement with the airport operator which contains some sanctions with regard to aircraft movements.

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Night flights plan requesting take-off

APPLICATION: Manston airport

THE owners of Manston airport have applied for permission to run regular night flights. The planning application was submitted to Thanet council last Wednesday, seeking the right to run scheduled flights between 11.30pm and 6am. Airport boss Charles Buchanan believes permission, which it needs from Thanet council, is vital to the success of the airport

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Herne Bay is ‘the fall guy’ for night flights

Clipping: thisiskent

HERNE Bay will be getting the worst of the night-flights deal being thrashed out at Manston, campaigners have warned. Kent International Airport owner Infratil is asking Thanet District Council to overturn the ban on regular night flying and let up to six cargo planes a night flying directly over Herne Bay. Manston claims development of passenger services will be possible only if the existing freight business is successful. And, to attract more freight, it must be able to schedule planes to land and take off at night.

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