I am against night flights at Manston excepting for emergencies. My main reasons are:
1 My health – I have suffered sleep deprivation in the past and have no wish to go through that again for whatever reason
2 Manston as far as I can tell has plenty of spare capacity during the day and this should be used before night flights
3 Cargo planes are heavier and noisier than passenger planes
4 I do not see how having night flights at Manston will create that many more jobs, and is it really worth doing so many people more harm for such a sort sighted reason as creating about twenty jobs
5 When we first came to the area, Manston was NOT an airport it was an Aerodrome, we had much delight watching the fighter jets etc go over us , but this was perhaps once a week if that and NEVER at night. My family moved here for peace, quiet and beg you not to allow night flights which will in my view ruin a lovely area of Kent.
I am writing to make my case against the proposed night flights to or from Manston Airport.
My house is situated directly under the flight path for aircraft landing at Manston from the west.
1 Noise maps inaccurate
The maps presented by Manston Airport do not accurately reflect the entire area affected by existing aircraft noise of aircraft landing from the west, nor therefore the proposed night flights.
The outline suggests that the area affected by noise is open country to the east of Beltinge. This is not the case. Aircraft landing from the west pass in a direct path over the entire length of the densely-populated town of Herne Bay. The topography of the town means that those living on hills to the west, and more particularly to the east (i.e. Mickleburgh Hill, the Downs etc) are significantly affected by aircraft landing noise.
2 Impact on Herne Bay understated
The frequency of aircraft landing noise over Herne Bay is understated. In theory, landing from the west only takes place when the wind requires it; the ‘normal’ landing coming from the east over Ramsgate. In this week since Monday 6 February aircraft have landed every day over Herne Bay.
3 Noise levels underestimated
The level of noise from aircraft currently landing at Manston airport is at an unhealthy level. When aircraft pass over my house I cannot hear the television or radio – despite having full double-glazing throughout.
4 Impact of night flights on health – sleep deprivation
The proposals seriously underestimate, if not ignore, the fact that aircraft landing over residential areas wake people from sleep.
Those who work, and the elderly (a significant percentage of the population of Herne Bay) would normally expect to be in bed and asleep by 11pm, and to sleep until 7am. Eight hours of undisturbed sleep is considered a healthy average. Noise between these hours at the level emitted by flights to/from Manston would significantly disturb sleep patterns with attendant impact on
– general health: depleted immune system, blood pressure etc
– mental health: stress, anxiety and depression
– fatigue: a significant contributor to road accidents and sick leave
Direct evidence: in the summer of 2005 a number of flights operated into Manston over Herne Bay between 11.30pm and 7am. As a consequence I was woken up after I had settled to sleep, and up to an hour before I was due to wake. The impact on my physical and mental wellbeing was significant, affecting my commute to work and performance there (as a senior manager in higher education). The flights were one of the contributing factors to my becoming ill with CFS/ME in November 2005 from which I had to take early retirement.
5 Negative impact of night flights on the economy of East Kent not enumerated
– additional days lost through sickness – or simply fatigue
– unemployment due to jobs lost through ill-health or lacklustre performance
– cost to local health services
– impact on tourism industry
– reduction in property values
6 Economic case not proved
The potential for Manston to expand to over a million passengers a year is not substantiated.
– at least half of its geographical catchment area is sea (north and east)
– access from the south west beyond Dover is severely limited: all main access routes pass Gatwick Airport
– significant population centres to the west are within easy reach of Heathrow, Gatwick and/or Stansted
Since the First World War it has been recognised that night incursions by enemy aircraft without the dropping of actual bombs (so-called ‘nuisance raids’) is an effective way of using sleep deprivation and disturbance to undermine the strength and morale of a population and significantly damage industrial output.