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Tag Archives: York Aviation

Thanet Airport Working Party 4th April

Like pushing your own face into a bacon slicer. Slowly. It was shambolic to a degree I would once have found shocking.

Charles Buchanan had been invited to speak by Cllr Gideon (chair), at Madeline Homer's suggestion, to "clarify" a number of points relating to the AWP's draft response. This led to some confusion as to whether the current draft report would need to be returned to Parsons Brinckerhoff for rewriting in the light of whatever Mr Buchanan might be about to say. Eventually they decided to play it by ear, and if only minor adjustments were required, they could go straight to the next stage of the process (Overview & Scrutiny) without the AWP needing to meet again.

[An aside: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

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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 Report Pans Night Flights Proposal

It’s grim reading for Manston, but it could be good news for East Kent – depending on Thanet District Council’s priorities. Yes folks, the Parsons Brinckerhoff report has finally arrived, and you can read, print and download your copy HERE.  This summary is in handy bite-sized chunks – just click on the “next installment” at the end of each post …

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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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York Aviation: enthusiastic number-crunchers

York Aviation come in for a lot of flak. I’ve started a list of the explicit criticisms that Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) make in the first few pages of their methodology, assumptions and conclusions… see how many more you can find.

York Aviation’s analysis is entirely based on a discredited Master Plan:

[p5] The basis of the analysis provided by York Aviation is the passenger and freight forecasts contained within MIA’s Master Plan published in November 2009.  We would note that despite the forecasts only being two years old, the airport is not achieving the level of forecast passenger growth

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More airport expansion

Well, well - here's another airport in the south-east that's looking to expand. Their proposal for 57% growth will be rushed through public consultation in just 4 weeks. They are promising to continue to be a "good neighbour". They say that the impact on the environment noise and road traffic flows will be "fully evaluated".

They even say that they will be submitting a planning application. Ahem. Nudge, nudge. Wouldn't it be nice if all airports had planning permission?

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The Night Flight Proposals 2011

Click the links to view the documents, or to download your very own copy. More documents, and scathing analysis to follow…   ScribdX.DocWidget.BASE_URL = “http://www.scribd.com”; ScribdX.DocWidget.ASSETS_BASE_URL = “http://s6.scribdassets.com”; (new ScribdX.DocWidget({ type:”public_document_collections”, resource_id: 3312549, show_resource_owner: true, show_doc_thumbnail: true, show_doc_owner: false, show_doc_reads: true, colors: {primary: “#1982AB”, secondary: “#302523″, label:”#888888”, background: “#FFFFFF”}, height: “400px”, width: “530px”, document_order: “ascending” })).asyncGET(); There should be a …

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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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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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