I would like to say at the very outset that I am AGAINST night flights in any shape or form, that is flights that arrive or take off between the hours of 11.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. from Manston.
Apart from the fact that everyone needs a good night’s sleep in order to function properly the next day, it is my basic human right as defined by the European Court of Human Rights.
I feel that no airport anywhere should be even allowed to contemplate night flying unless all daytime capacity has been fully exhausted. My understanding is that even London Heathrow is only allowed a minimum of night flights per annum and as we all know, this is one of the busiest airports in the world. Noise quotas should have no bearing on night flights. The simple fact of the matter is that if it wakes me up its too loud!
Manston airport operates at gross daytime under-capacity. I work from home in Acol and I hear the number of flights that take off from there on a daily basis, whether they take off towards the east over Ramsgate or the west over the villages and Herne Bay. These can be counted on the fingers on one hand! You will note that I say over the villages, as although looking at the recommended flight path on various maps of the area Acol is not shown as being on the flight path, in reality this is not the case. They actually fly right over Acol for the most part and I have complained to Manston on many occasions to no avail. This is bad enough during the day or evening, but during the night, to be woken suddenly with such a horrendous roar overhead, the house often vibrating from the turbulence a 747 causes, is quite frightening. When taking off towards the east, the bedroom is filled with aviation fumes and that is in the winter time with the windows closed. I can’t imagine what this would be like in the summer when the windows are open. It’s actually possible to smell the increase in air temperature with the fumes this presents and I cannot believe that over the long term this is going to be detrimental to not just my health but everyone who is directly affected by these night flights in Ramsgate at one end and Acol, Manston, Beltinge and Herne Bay at the other end.
As far as employment is concerned, I know from living in the Isle of Thanet all my life, that employment prospects have never been great. Companies who want to either migrate here or expand existing facilities and operations also know this! That is when, if all else fails, companies play the ‘jobs card’. Thanet District Council should not fall for this one, for history shows that for the most part few jobs are seldom created, particularly for local people. It’s all part of a big ploy of trying to hold Thanet District Council to ransom if you like. If the night flights plan is given permission, then I suspect very few jobs will be created in proportion to the number of flights. It has already been documented that Manston’s existing staff are underutilised and projections of increased staff requirements are largely bogus and exaggerated. Manston will just have to think about a Plan B.
My fear about all this is if and once Manston is given the go ahead for this crazy plan, it is going to be very hard to revert. Once the genie is out of the bottle it’s very difficult to get it back in again!
To whom it may concern.
I am writing to AGAINST to the proposal for scheduled night flights at Manston Airport.
I am AGAINST the proposal on the following grounds:
1. Night flights will cause disturbed sleep. This has serious impacts on health and well being. This is especially serious within vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. These groups do not have the choice to simply move somewhere else out of the flight path. The effects on health are clearly documented in the WHO report: Night Noise Guidance for Europe published 2009. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/43316/E92845.pdf
2. The likely adverse effects on the environment have been insufficiently addressed.
3. There has been insufficient analysis on the effect of the existing and future Thanet Tourism industry.
4. Most night flights will be cargo flights, which are larger, dirtier, noisier aircraft. This also places extra strain on the road infrastructure, without bringing great economic benefits to the people of Thanet. Any additional jobs created at the airport must be offset against the damage to existing independent businesses throughout the area. I don’t believe the matter of job losses within Thanet has been taken into account or addressed.
5. Most of the money generated will go to shareholders who don’t live in the area. The New Economics Foundation refer to this drain out of an area to distant shareholders as the leaky bucket syndrome. Money invested in small businesses stays in the area where the small business exists. Hotels and guest houses under the flight path will struggle to achieve the aim of a regenerated Thanet. http://www.neweconomics.org/projects/plugging-leaks Thanet District Council needs to support existing local communities, ensuring the investment stays within Thanet for the benefit of our struggling communities and to plan for a sustainable growth. People are not going to be attracted to live under the flight path of night time cargo flights.
6. The proposed flights are for freight. I do not believe that damage to our existing industry has been taken into account. As a coastal district, one of our main industries is the visitor economy. How will increased night flights of freight bring a positive impact on the growth of our visitor economy?
7. I believe the number of jobs created is tiny compared to the amount of jobs that will be created in Thanet through a thriving, sustainable visitor economy. The wages earned at Manston are low. The small number of low wage jobs are simply not worth it when offset against the damage that these scheduled night flights will bring.
8. I own a five star gold bed and breakfast guest accommodation in Margate. In two and a half years of trading, all of my foreign guests have come via train or ferry. I estimate that our business would be devastated if we were suddenly under the flight path with night flights. My guests find it most convenient to arrive by ferry from mainland Europe. There is simply no need or benefit to Thanet to allowing our green isle to be devastated by an unsustainable and unenvironmental policy such as scheduled night flights.