Home ... NNF ... Manston ... YES WE CAN: make it work

Profitable. Sustainable. Sound commercial proposition. Good corporate citizen. These are just some of the good things that happen when you work with, rather than against, those around you. It's not rocket science. It's not even science. It's sense.

YES WE CAN: make it work

Profitable. Sustainable. Sound commercial proposition. Good corporate citizen. These are just some of the good things that happen when you work with, rather than against, those around you.

It’s not rocket science. It’s not even science. It’s sense.

Infratil have paid a lot for Manston, and have spent a lot on it since. To see any kind of return on their investment, they need Manston to generate a steady and healthy profit from the air traffic it handles.

BAA, the country’s largest airport operator was recently deemed to have a near-monopoly, and has been forced to sell off some of its airports in order to increase competition. The increased competition will bring prices down as airports fight for market share. There won’t be any plump, lucrative contracts left – making money will rely on the sheer volume of traffic.

Basic business logic and a few simple facts from the real world lead us to the conclusion that there’s going to be a lot more planes over East Kent. This is the time to get our heads together and figure how to manage this so that it works out as well as possible. Recently we had a bit of a mad flurry when Infratil thought they were going to get a cargo contract from BA – everything was done in a rush and nobody was very happy with it.

Thanet District Council are planning ahead for how to deal with night flight requests. Infratil have set out their MasterPlan for the airport. Any change in the pattern of use of the airport, or growth in traffic, will mean that the S106 agreement has to be re-negotiated. The S106 is a bilateral agreement thrashed out between a few dozen people (Thanet Councillors and the senior management of Infratil) but the consequences of the agreement will affect the lives of tens of thousands of people for years to come.

And this, dear reader, is where you come in.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be running though some of the things that I want to see in the S106. I cordially invite each and every one of you to comment on the posts, or email me direct with your shrewd and wise thoughts and observations. I will gather together everything you send, and press it on anyone who’ll listen. And some who won’t.

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  1. Due to a whole host of reasons, this land should be sold to CenterParcs.

  2. Really, the decision should have been taken to hive it off for development a decade ago. Westwood Cross could have been built there, much more convenient for everyone. Or it would make a lovely wind farm. As an airport it's about as much use as t*ts on a bull and a blight on the future of Ramsgate and Herne Bay.

  3. Agreed, but I'd prefer a solar-farm to a wind-farm. Solar is more reliable and the panels could be built on-site. It could easily attract some of the world-leading US firms (as a manufacturing and export base for Europe) We have a ferry-port, a newly dredged harbour and no quality of life issues arising from sea transport.Really sustainable jobs and career-paths could be established for locals to aim for (as opposed to minimum-wage unskilled jobs as airport cleaners etc etc)The necessary change in thinking will come.

  4. I like your train of thought WCGB: an on-site manufacturer would have a ready-made and convenient test bed and showcase. There's plenty of scope for win-win deals centred around infrastructure for cheap clean power. A US firm would bring welcome inward investment, but a home-grown firm could produce even more welcome wealth generation.The change in thinking needs some coaxing, methinks. Necessity is the mother of invention and all that, but I would much rather see innovation and inventiveness kicking in *before* we run out of options.Does the term 'transition town' ring any bells?