Here we go again. Manston has commissioned an independent report in the hope that it will contain just the right mixture of tempting promises and dire warnings to elicit the long-awaited knee-jerk response from TDC.
This is just a briefing note, a mere spitoon’s worth of drivel. When the whole bucket of spit is available, we’ll let you know. Another post on this blog will be dedicated to the forensic disection and cruel lampooning of York Aviation’s independent findings, so for the moment Dear Reader, cast your eye over this and let us know what you think in the comments below.
19 May 2011
The Economic Impact of Manston, Kent’s International Airport
Following discussions with Thanet District Council, we have commissioned York Aviation to undertake an independent assessment of the economic impact of the Airport.
The first part of the research is now complete and we can now provide you with a briefing of the key findings, which is enclosed with this letter.
The study will help the Local Authority, key stakeholders and other interested parties in forming their responses to any future night-time policy submission from Manston.
If you would like to receive an electronic copy of the briefing paper please email my colleague: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions as a result of reading the briefing or about our aspirations to make Manston a South East Regional Airport, please feel free to email me at: email@example.com
Chief Executive Officer
Manston’s Economic Impact
By 2018, Manston, as Kent’s international airport, through delivering its Master Plan would:
- Generate an additional £65m Gross Value Added (GVA) for the East Kent economy;
- Create 2,070 direct jobs, and a further 1,035 indirect and induced jobs;
- Attract 2,286,000 passengers and handle 167,500 tonnes of freight;
- Support a balanced freight and passenger customer base;
- Create a sustainable and commercially viable South East regional airport.
Manston appointed York Aviation, a leading European aviation consultancy, to assess the economic impact the airport developing in line with its published Master Plan.
This briefing note relates to York Aviation’s initial research conclusions. York Aviation is in the process of finalising the research and the assessment of the impact that the imposition of a stringent night movement policy would have on the airport’s economic impact and commercial operation.
Manston, Kent’s international airport, published its Master Plan for growth in 2009, and has subsequently submitted proposals to Thanet District Council for the management of night-time flying. It has identified that the night flying policy need to be put in place in order to manage additional scheduled air freight services, some of which will need to operate at night, which are critical to improving the financial viability of the airport. Without such freight operations, and the revenue they would bring, there is a risk that the airport will not be in a position to sustain its operations and attract additional passenger services over the medium to long term.
The absence of a night flying policy would also restrict the ability of the airport to attract based aircraft, such as operated by low cost airlines, and increase passengers and routes using the airport.
The growth in forecast passenger numbers over time will also help the viability of the airport. While passenger services will reduce the dependency on air freight overall, York Aviation believes that the airport is unlikely to be financially viable without the forecast mix of both traffic types as set out in Manston’s Master Plan.
This research is based on the night-time flying policy proposed by the airport, and is not upon unlimited night time activity. The policy would allow limited scheduled passenger and freight services in the night-time period.
Manston is in the process of developing the submission of a night flying policy to Thanet District Council under the obligations set out in a Section 106 agreement with the local authority.
This briefing note outlines the initial conclusions of the York Aviation research. These include:
Economic impact: Gross Value Added…
- The research suggests that Manston would deliver nearly £65 million GVA a year to the local economy if controlled night flights were allowed between 23.00hrs and 07.00hrs. GVA measures the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the UK, and is used in the estimation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- Development of Manston would enable the airport to provide direct employment for 2,070 people and a further 1,035 indirect and induced jobs by 2018. Indirect jobs are those created in the chain of suppliers as a direct result of the airport’s operations and induced jobs are those supported by the spending of incomes in the local community by those in direct and indirect employment.
Attracting passenger services…
- In the early years of the Master Plan passenger service growth is expected to be via inbound aircraft and charter services. The owner’s aspirations and expectations are that Manston will secure ‘based’ aircraft, either from low fare carriers, such as Ryanair, easyjet or bmibaby, or charter airlines e.g. Thomson Airways, by 2018.
- Airlines will maximise the use of the aircraft based at Manston by offering a mix of short and long routes. As a result, based aircraft diversify an airport’s route portfolio, initially through an increase in the number of domestic routes served and larger volume outbound leisure markets e.g. city breaks. Based aircraft would also generate inbound travel, and benefit the local tourism industry, as well as outbound passengers.
- Ability to accommodate night flying would increase the potential to attract low cost operators and based planes and remove the reliance on inbound aircraft as is currently the situation at Manston. Inbound served airports often offer fewer destinations, have lower frequencies and less capacity (and therefore passengers).
Attracting freight services…
- Current freight activity at Manston is dominated by the handling of perishable products in the UK, supplemented by general cargo.
- World freight forecasts produced by Boeing and Airbus estimate a 5.9% annual increase between 2010 and 2029. Constraints in runway capacity within the South East, and Manston’s existing freight handling facilities, has led York Aviation to conclude that the airport will benefit from the push of freight traffic away from the London airports to other airports in the region.
- The greatest market opportunities are seen from the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) all of whom continue to grow economically, despite the global slowdown.
- Excluding the likes of British Airways World Cargo, and integrators such as DHL and TNT, few large-scale freight operators are based in the UK. York Aviation concurs with Manston that freight growth will be from inbound operators, rather than based freight aircraft.
- Manston must ensure freight airlines can operate with a greater degree of certainty for their customers and the markets they serve.
The ability to handle aircraft movements between 23.00hrs and 07.00hrs would be necessary for Manston to attract a low-cost airline with planes based at the airport, as well as handle greater levels of freight from around the world.
The research concludes that Manston’s aspiration to become a sustainable South East regional airport will be achieved if a controlled night flying policy is adopted which promotes a mix of passenger and freight services using the airport.
Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive Officer of Manston, said: “Our aspiration is to have airlines actually base aircraft at the airport as this would significantly increase the number of passengers arriving at and departing from Manston. Persuading airlines to base planes at the airport would generate further local employment opportunities for cabin crew and additional airport jobs. Despite the current economic situation we remain confident that airlines will choose Manston and build upon our Flybe services and charter services and that it is well placed to meet the growing demand for airfreight into and out from the South East of England.”