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A reader writes

should like to make a few points, of which Cllr Carter should be
informed! Firstly, he says that Manston’s runway is 2,752m. When I
checked, it was 2,658m. Heathrow has two runways – 3,500m and 3,570m,
with Gatwick’s one at 3,750m. So nowhere near comparable.

He says that Manston “is able to cater for all modern jet aircraft”;
that’s all very well, but a fully-laden 747 or 767 could not safely
take off because there is no room to abort a take off in case of
problems. If you remember, an Afghan DC-8 almost came a cropper on 11th
August 2010 when, as it was later discovered, it tried to take off
25,000 lbs overweight! (So where are our CAA checks? Who was
responsible? How could this happen?) It only just blundered into the sky
after gouging grooves in the grass at the end of the runway, just
before it could have collided with the traffic on the bit of the B2190
between the Prospect and Manston Road roundabouts! Details of the AAIB
investigation can be found here: www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/1670.pdf. If it had been taking off over Ramsgate, it could have ploughed into the traffic on the Haine Road. So, safe, is it?

I don’t want night flights, but I’m not against the airport
succeeding. But why don’t people look at past history? (Sorry – no one
ever does!) No one has succeeded with pie-in-the-sky, fantasy ideas. It
is a small airfield, not a major airport! It could succeed as a part
cargo/part holiday destination airfield. Small aircraft, such as the
Fokkers that had European destinations, could attract most of our
limited catchment area. I note you say that people living within reach
of Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, will obviously go there because
of the choice of destinations. Agreed. We need someone to take over
Manston who can see it for what it is and accept its limited
capabilities. But now, I suppose, I’m looking at pie in the sky!


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  1. I beg to differ SB.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manston_Airport"The single runway is located about 1-mile (1.6 km) from the coastline at 178 ft (54 m) above sea level and is 2,748 m (9,016 ft) long"http://www.boeing.com/commercial/noise/kent_international.html"Runway 2752m"http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-17A27272D9D53953CBF6D182310E95EC/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/AD/AIRAC/EGAD2EGMH2-1en2012-08-23.pdf"2748mx61m"I think you need to get your facts right SB.To close to B2190 and Haine road? Tell me SB, how close is the M25 to Heathrow’s runway? Want to take a gues about the A22’s proximity to Gatwick’s runway?But wait, what’s this?http://www.gatwickairport.com/business/about/facts-figures/"Runway length: 3,316m long by 45m wide"Have they lopped 450m off the runway since you guessed at it’s length?On your safety argument alone, flights should be moved TO Manston on safety grounds, given that to the West there is a small road which could easily be closed for take off and landings, or even simply closed, and would certainly present less danger than the proximity of teh M25 to Heathrow, and the A23 to Gatwick, and to the West, Haine road about a mile away, and sea to North and South where no casualties at all would be caused on the gorund.Did you mean to make a perfect to develop Manston, or is your research simply sloppy?[Occupy Thanet]

  2. Occupy Thanet needs to go back to school and learn to write in a clear manner.Ignoring the spelling errors in the main thread, what the hell does the last sentence mean ? It makes no sense at all.[Denis Cannon]

  3. Don’t worry yourselves about the safety issue @ Manston no one there cares a damn about it either, just nip along to Seaview Road Cliffsend when a flight going east takes off – the moment it leaves the ground it’s turning right to fly over the houses to miss the noise monitors. God help those who live in its path should anything happen, KCC don’t care, TDC don’t care, neither does Charles Buchanan.[onlyfools]

  4. Leaving safety and runway length aside, it’s just not a very good place for an airport. Needs to be connected to the rest of the country – and it’s not. Not really. Not properly. It’s out on a limb in the middle of nowhere commercially speaking. New runways at Heathrow and Stanstead are what’s needed for aviation, investment is what’s needed for Thanet. Don’t confuse the two please.[Rob]