Proposals for limited nighttime flying at Manston Airport in Kent are to be opposed by Thanet District Council. Scheduled night flights at the airport have been suggested to help increase air capacity in the south east.
On Thursday 10th May members of the cabinet agreed the potential economic benefits had been over-estimated and noise disturbance under-estimated.
Council leader Clive Hart said a public consultation had “clearly demonstrated” a large number of residents were against flights operating between 23:00 and 07:00. The cabinet’s recommendation will now go to full council to be debated. ‘Fully supportive’ Mr Hart said:
“Having considered the views of local people, the findings of our independent assessment and the proposals themselves, it is clear what our recommendation to council had to be. We are, however, fully supportive of the airport. Encouraging regeneration in Thanet and supporting local businesses is vital to the success of the area, but this can’t come at any cost.”
However the airport’s chief executive, Charles Buchanan, said an independent assessment had been misrepresented:
“Their expert recognised the need for the airport to have a limited amount of nighttime flying and flexibility to operate at night in order to become a viable commercial success. This is a consultation and ultimately it is our decision to make, but we will give due weight to the opinion that the council brings forward.”
In April, transport minister Theresa Villiers suggested Manston could be used to increase airport capacity in the south east of England.
BBC 11th May 2012