Home ... Tag Archives: Thanet (page 10)

Tag Archives: Thanet

Laura Sandys gets political

Politics is the worst thing that ever happened to democracy, and I only realised this since getting involved in local community campaigns like this one.

The downsides of night flights - noise and other pollution, environmental destruction, reduced quality of life, worse health, more stress, harder-to-teach kids, etc. etc. - are all straightforward facts, and as such are strictly non-political.

The advertised upside of night flights - that they will allow the airport to achieve its master plan and the forecast jobs - is more a matter of belief, trust or interpretation, and as such is likely to coloured by the political colour of your mind/heart.

It's disheartening when political spin and point-scoring produce more heat than light, warming the hearts of political supporters without showing a way forward. (This criticism is emphatically not levelled at Laura alone, not by any means - they're all at it, most of the time, usually when there are better things to be doing.)

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Olympic meddling

Update on those 44 Olympic night flights – Charles Buchanan accepts the reality of supply and demand! Let’s see how much demand there is for Manston… Regional airports prepare for Olympic flight rush Hundreds of flights will be allowed to take off and land at Kent’s airports – including Manston – every day during this summer’s Olympics. Manston, Lydd and …

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CPRE aren’t impressed

Night flights at Manston have been an extremely contentious issue for many Thanet residents. Some believe that allowing the flights will bring economic prosperity to the area, with much needed local employment opportunities. Others believe that it is unlikely that many jobs will be created.

We took the stance some time ago that we did not believe allowing night flights would bring any real economic benefit to the residents of Thanet, and may in fact bring real harm to the area due to the impacts of noise and air pollution.

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Council’s consultation details

A step at a time, TDC stumbles towards the consultation. Currently, the Council's website also gives a link to the Manston website that you can use to leave feedback on the proposals. I think this is a grave error of judgement on TDC's part - I think all the public contributions to the public consultation should go direct to TDC.

Night-time flying policy for Manston Airport

Public consultation to launch Friday 3 February 2012

From 3 February 2012, Thanet District Council will be asking members of the public for their views on proposals for regular night-time flying at Manston Airport. The proposals were submitted by Infratil, owners of the airport, on 27 October 2011 and included an aircraft noise assessment report and economic assessment, which are technical reports explaining the implications of the proposal.

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Report highlights night flights hype

Nights flights will not be the salvation of Manston airport, according to campaigners who say that a report from a leading transport consultancy backs their views.

Community groups say they do not believe allowing the flights would bring any economic benefit to the residents of Thanet, and may in fact bring harm to the area due to the impact of noise and air pollution.

Many also say that if the proposed operations went ahead, they could actually deter people who might be planning to move their businesses to the area or thinking of buying a home there.

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Council breaks its silence

Thanet District Council have created cock-up out of chaos - a half-arsed consultation, then playing put the genie back in the bottle. It would have been so much simpler just to bat Manston's proposals straight back to them, just as the previous administration did, and for exactly the same reasons.

Originally, the consultation was to last 90 days, be carried out by MORI (for example), and cost £50-£80k. Councillors and members alike have been getting twitchy about the cost, and so they've opted to do it in-house, i.e. on the cheap. There's no suggestion that this will produce a better consultation.

Manston have dragged their feet for years over this, to the extent that even the Council has been appeared quite nimble in comparison. Nonetheless, Clive Hart has tried to allay our impatience by acting swiftly. Personally, for an exercise of this importance, I would rather he did it right than did it soon.

Having just realised that the S106 agreement means that Manston can proceed with whatever night flight policy they like, TDC have decided to wait and see what effect the night flights will have. Erm, quite apart from what their native common sense should be telling them, TDC have now commissioned two independent reports, both of which conclude that the costs of night flights outweigh the benefits.

They are also waiting to see if night flights would result in an "intensification or change of operation" at the airport. Hmmm... tricky one. Currently: 16 hours a day, with scheduled night flights forbidden. Proposed: 24 hours a day, with no limit on night flights. You know what - I think there will be a difference.

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Airport and Council to break silence

Charles Buchanan, CEO of Manston airport, has had the newly published Parsons Brinckerhoff report since Thursday. So far, he hasn’t made any public comment and has stuck to the line that he is biding his time pending a more considered response. Translating from the business-speak/PR jargon, I think this means he’s been trawling through the report with a fine-toothed comb …

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Flybe, Manston, night flights and the truth

We wondered whether night flights would have made a difference to Flybe's decision to quit Manston.

After all, Charles Buchanan's constant message in the media is that night flights are essential to the airport's long-term commercial success, and Flybe is exactly the kind of high volume passenger carrier that Manston wants to attract (and keep).

So had the lack of scheduled night flights made Manston less attractive? Would scheduled night flights have persuaded Flybe to stay?

So we asked them...

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CPRE says night flights at Manston will not boost business

The campaign group says night flights could actually damage Thanet’s economic growth. Protect Kent, the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s county branch, says there is little evidence that night flights at Manston Airport will significantly help the local economy. Campaigns manager Andrew Ogden said:

“The fact that Flybe are pulling out in March because they cannot fill planes is damning proof of the lack of demand for flights out of Manston.

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