I am strongly against Manston’s night flying proposal.
I changed the habit of a lifetime at the last election and voted Labour because of the stand they made on this subject.
They seem to now be sitting on the fence on this matter reneging on a pre election promise.
I live directly under the flight path and wish to register my protest against Infratil’s proposals. I have already been woken up several times in the past by very noisy cargo planes flying very low over my house in the middle of the night. Double-glazing and thick loft insulation does not block out the noise.
I am not against Manston developing, but surely they should fill the daytime slots first, rather than blighting people’s lives with sleep deprivation. A good night’s sleep is as essential to health as food and water.
I note that Flybe’s decision to leave Manston was not because of restrictions on night flights, but because they could not fill their planes during the day.
Why should thousands of residents’ quality of life be destroyed so that Infratil can increase their profits ? Where are these 3000 jobs coming from that Infratil say they will create ? The latest independent report doesn’t believe it and neither do I. Unfortunately, Manston is in the wrong place to be a busy passenger airport.
This is all about putting profit above people’s health.
I am writing to offer both mine and my wife’s views and intense objections against the night flight proposals by Infratil, for the consultation which began on Friday 3rd February.
We have been following the ongoing developments and my wife has attended one the ‘No night Flights’ meetings recently. We are both extremely anxious about the proposals and what the result of approval will mean. We are amongst thousands of other residents in the area whose property lies very close to the flight path of Manston Airport and whose lives would be severely affected by night flights being agreed. This is why:
Currently, although staggeringly loud, the planes that fly in and out do not particularly concern us or overly disturb our lives due to their irregularity or times of the day that they arrive/take off. The proposal of up to 8 flights per night however would turn our lives upside down – and I suspect many thousands of other people in Ramsgate and the surrounding areas too. The scale of which cannot be underestimated. The consequences of any night flights would be devastating to our lives, both financially, mentally and emotionally. This is not being dramatic. It will be the repercussions of the night flying that will have the biggest impact. I believe that the result of having flights at Manston during the night would have monumental effects on local residents sleep patterns and therefore affect home and work lives, potentially irreversibly. There is no way in my mind that any human being could sleep through the deafening noise of planes landing in such close proximity of so many residential properties in the middle of the night, let alone up to eight or more per night. My feeling is that, if night flights are given the go head, this will give Manston the gateway to warrant more regular flights during the entirety of the night and possibly flights 24/7.
It is interesting to see where the councillors actually live in conjunction to the flight path. Very few indeed live in the proximity of the flight path. I hope that they are fully aware of how deafeningly loud a cargo plane is when stood a few hundred feet away looking up at these vehicles. Imagine trying to stay asleep indoors for one of these arrivals/take-offs… Imagine trying to stay asleep when there are 5, 7, 10, 12 planes with a noise level of 95 decibels per night. Someone asked me recently when discussing this, what I thought 95 decibels sounds like. I said to them “Well the loudest thing I think I’ve ever experienced is standing almost directly under the flight path of a Boeing 747 cargo plane that is coming in to land! In fact – what a perfect example; because that will be around about 95 decibels!!”
Anyone who is adopting the general attitude of ‘you’ll get used to it’ will be sorely mistaken. Herein lies the problem. Nobody knows for certain exactly how noisy, or how badly this will affect their lives – until it’s too late; until it is actually happening. Because once Manston Airport has the go ahead to do this – there will be no turning back and night flights will be here to stay. This is why night flight’s cannot be allowed and why Manston Airport should not get the clearance for something that they did not have the plans for when the Airport was purchased.
Night Flights would have such a catastrophic effect on so many lives which could quite realistically lead to ill health, both from disturbed sleep and pollution, hugely devalued properties, the effect on people’s jobs, families and general well being. There must be so many people, like myself and my wife who have busy lives, stressful jobs and enough to cope with already with the current economic climate and trying to run a home and bring up small children. Without the prospect of massive sleep deprivation for ever more if the night flights are given the thumbs up.
Moreover, on a personal level, one of our greatest concerns is the affect this will have on our daughter’s future and her schooling. There will inevitably be huge negative consequence on the learning abilities of any child who experiences sleep disturbances on this scale. As most are probably aware, neither Gatwick or Heathrow allow for such flights at these times. Manston should not be the exception.
What I really cannot get my head around is how Mr Buchanan and the representatives of Manston Airport are attempting to convince people that so many jobs will be created and how so many people from across Thanet will benefit from job opportunities. This is just not accurate. The Airport will never be given the go ahead for expansion for passenger services because the infrastructure does not currently exist. People will not travel to Thanet from London and beyond for this purpose. Which leaves only cargo hauliers. How many jobs will be created from more arrivals carrying pallets of goods that need to be offloaded and put onto a truck with a forklift? A few I imagine. Maybe 20. Maybe up to 100-200? Probably not that many. Does this fairly irrelevant number of job opportunities outweigh the negative effect these flights will have on thousands of people and their families/children? The negative effects that these flights may have on visitors/tourism to Thanet? The effects on local businesses, pollution etc etc? The answer is ‘No’. Not that I can see from any evidence or anything I’ve read. Which is why we strongly oppose this application.
I truly hope that Councillors, MP’s, and residents alike do not take these proposals lightly and brush off the fact that so many lives will be badly affected if these plans are granted.