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From the once-secret KCC funding bid

What a wondrous thing is the Freedom of Information Act. Without it, we wouldn't know what KCC had said to the money-bags at BIS in their plea for free money. They have repeatedly tried to dodge FOI requests, until finally cornered by our tireless truth-seekers.

It will come as no surprise to the more cynical of our international readership that it's not just the tone and emphasis of what KCC and Infratil say in their bid that differs from what they've been saying publicly, it's the numbers too.

Yet another job forecast

From the once-secret KCC funding bid

What a wondrous thing is the Freedom of Information Act. Without it, we wouldn’t know what KCC had said to the money-bags at BIS in their plea for free money. They have repeatedly tried to dodge FOI requests, until finally cornered by our tireless truth-seekers.

It will come as no surprise to the more cynical of our international readership that it’s not just the tone and emphasis of what KCC and Infratil say in their bid that differs from what they’ve been saying publicly, it’s the numbers too.

Here’s just one example from the ill-fated bid document:

The commencement of twice-daily air services to [censored] would provide a catalyst for the wider development of Manston (Kent International) Airport, which is expected to create up to 2,800 direct and indirect jobs by 2018, rising to 6,000 by 2033. In the short-term, it would trigger the employment and training of 11 Airport Fire and Rescue personnel, 9 Airport Security personnel, and 3 Customer Service personnel on a full-time, permanent basis. This would enable the Airport to expand its operating hours from the current 12 hours per day to 18 hours per day and to handle up to 750,000 passengers per annum and more than double the existing levels of freight, making the best use of its existing facilities. This wider availability of the Airport – combined with its direct access to the Thanet Parkway Station – will improve its attractiveness to potential operators of both passenger and freight services. Each additional weekly cargo flight would generate between £150,000 and £200,000 in revenue, which is likely to be re-invested in airport infrastructure, staffing and services, thereby further enhancing its capacity to handle larger volumes of flights.

I’ve already introduced you to the laughable basis of the “thousands of jobs” forecast. What is interesting about this piece of immortal prose is the short-term forecast.

Manston are happy to state in this once-secret document, that with 23 extra staff they would be able to handle twice the current tonnage of freight, and 750,000 passengers a year. In 2010, they handled 21,000 passengers, and the latest figures from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) show about 2,000 a month so far in 2011.

This is the first indication yet of how the number of jobs would increase with the number of passengers. An annual increase of three-quarters of a million passengers would require only a couple of dozen extra staff. This is a far cry from the 1,104 jobs per million passengers that Manston’s PR machine has been touting about the county in recent days.

Incidentally, another of the once-secret documents (which will star in a number of further posts) “forecasts” the growth and impact of the top-secret, anonymous, censored and redacted airline that KCC wanted to “sweeten” with public money to use Manston. It “forecasts”  that the service would take three years to mature, at which point it would be carrying 119,000 passengers a year, tops. So where is the rest of the ¾ million coming from?


Dear Reader, you can download your copy of the once-secret KCC Bid Document below, and if you can deduce (or already know) the identities of the airline, or the European hub airport, that are painstakingly blacked out throughout the document, do let me know. Thank you.

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No comments

  1. Is the big number about spin off jobs created in the local economy, eg tourism, via people & business using the airport?

  2. Dear Mrs P – which big number do you mean?