I want to say that I am AGAINST night flying at Manston between the hours of 11pm and 7am. Every time there is a night flight, for whatever reason, I am woken from sleep. The noise from night flights will be unbearable and quality of life will be changed forever. I am speaking for my children and my grandchildren who often sleep at my house and have been woken up already with night flights. Sleep is precious and not an option – do not allow these flights!
I am writing to register my strong opposition to Infratil’s current proposal for Night Flights from Manston airport.
My home lies directly under the Manston airport flight path and the noise of daytime flights is already hugely invasive and shocking, at any time of day.
Quite aside from my personal feelings, I believe that the threat of night flights is effectively stifling the burgeoning renaissance of Ramsgate. I know that those who would prefer to open new hotel, restaurant and other leisure related business into our beautiful town are actively dissuaded from doing so by Infratil’s threat to fly huge jets over our rooftops at all hours of day and night.
I therefore strongly urge TDC to reject this application and instead give the green light to a peaceful and prosperous Ramsgate which (will bring far greater prosperity to Manston as a holiday destination than it ever would as a depressed town at the end of a long runway).
As a Ramsgate resident for 25 years, living very close to the flight path, I should like to convey my strong feelings against night flights for the following reasons:
1. Sleep is essential to good health and ability to work productively. Ten years ago, the European Court of Human Rights confirmed that aircraft noise at night is harmful to health and that undisturbed sleep is a basic human right.
2. Local people feel very strongly about this – the meeting on this subject at Chatham House School in October 2010 was packed to bursting with objectors like ourselves. A large number of people also attended the open meeting last autumn at the airport itself – where the airport chief executive appeared to deliberately prevaricate about the expansion plans, announcing them a few days later.
3. The airport claim that night flights will produce several thousand new jobs for the area. This is patently highly unlikely, since the night flights will simply be unloading freight, and then flying out again.
4. If the flats and hotel at the former Pleasurama site are ever built, who would want to buy them/stay there, knowing they are under the flight path for low-flying night aircraft?
5. Ditto for those who keep boats at Ramsgate, who come down to visit and go out on their boats, and spend money in the town. Why should they want to spend a night on their boat, if planes are going to be roaring overhead during the night? The proposed night flights may well make Ramsgate less not more attractive to tourists.
6. There is no reason why Manston, with an efficient shuttle service from the high speed link, should not prosper as an airport running flights between the hours of 7am and 11pm. If it doesn’t, that will be because it remains an unacceptable distance from the greater London area, not because of a restriction against night flights.
7. I have however two reservations about any expansion of the airport. I have read that the flight path brings these planes unacceptably low over housing (presumably at Cliffsend). I am also concerned from the point of view of pollution. Planes coming in to land jettison unspent fuel from their fuel tanks. It is possible to see this streaming out from their fuel tanks as they pass overhead. Depending on the wind, this unspent fuel (kerosene) may and sometimes does fall on populated parts of the town and surrounding area. My husband and I have smelt it on a number of occasions, including near our home on the Eastcliff, in the vicinity of Ramsgate station and, to cite one particular recent occasion, around 3pm on Monday 5th December, 2011, at Westwood Cross shopping centre, which was at the time very busy with Christmas shoppers.
I sincerely hope your consultation will take the above points into consideration.