Monday, November 17, 2008

Manston Pickle

Yipes! I see Infartil, the owners of RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport, are reporting a loss at their European airport business for the six months to 30 September 2008. In their half yearly report the Kiwi group says:

Infartil Airports Europe recorded an earnings loss of $6 million for the half. This reflected the loss of major freight services at Glasgow and Kent. While the suddenness of the reduction of services meant that the airports have incurred adjustment costs (including bad debts) it is likely that the full year outcome will be consistent with the first half trend.

Meanwhile that ruddy-faced man who runs Kent County Council was on the Beeb's Politics Show yesterday lunchtime crapping on about RAFLKRMIA being the 'jewel in the crown' of south east airports, and waxing lyrical about '6 million passenger movements' and how 'accessible' it is. Yes, very accessible for a few thousand Majorca-loving Dickensians and Margatonians, who don't have to put up with the incessant 'training' flights, but a bit of a pain in the jacksie for the 40,000 Ramsgatonians who happen to live beneath knackered old jumbos overflying their cliff top mansions every eight minutes (cue cries of 'nimby', 'it's been there since 1836', and 'if you don't like it move!')

Strangely, for a fellow who runs Kent County Council, R-FM seems to have a limited knowledge of the county's geography. Does he not realise that at least 270 degrees of RAFLKRMIA's catchment area is very 'accessible' to fish, seagulls, and, er, that's about it? Or maybe I'm not giving him enough credit. By batting for Manston, and batting off 'Boris Island', perhaps he's ensuring his little neck of the West Kent woods remains unblighted!

Click here to read Infartil interim results
Click here to watch R-FM crapping on about Manston (c. 41 mins in)
Click here for details of CPRE's Thanet: A New Way Forward

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lets hope they close the airport soon. I have recently bought a house in Ramsgate and think it has the potential to be the 'jewel in the crown' of the British sea side. It has everything. With the exception of the threat of noise from low flying aeroplanes. I can't wait for Manston to close.

tim garbutt (via email) said...

With Paul Carter refusing to face the reality of repeated failure at Manston cargo airport of several airlines, and repeated water and air pollution by Infratil including several dumped jumbo jets – shouldn’t Paul look to the future and create a 2012 Olympic pool to support swimming in Kent.

The airport, and nearby Chinagate, are built on East Kent ’s drinking water supply after all.

It’s as if KCC have run out of ideas for East Kent one of the UK ’s most deprived areas.

steve said...

Paul Carter said Ramsgate residents don't complain or oppose the Airport as we all like the fact it brings jobs!

I think its time we set up an opposition.

SMEG - Stop Manston Expansion Group.

ECR - if you want to lead us, you can be the "SMEG Head".

Anonymous said...

Once the new rail link is up and running Ramsgate should be able to fulfill its incredible potential. This potential will not be realised if it is under a flight path.
What can we do to hasten Manston's demise?

Anonymous said...

Carter said in the interview when he was asked about objections from people under the flightpath that there were no objections and that TDC was 100% behind expansion.

Anonymous said...

The RFM is good at not hearing objections... like the hundreds of people who marched through the Sellindge earlier this year.

I'm sure they were no doubt cheering on Mr C's wonderful plans for a lorry park that would bring 2,500 - 3,000 lorries, drivers (and 'servicing' facilities) into the villages between Ashford and Folkestone.

Anonymous said...

What is the real likelihood of there being an increase in air traffic in the next five years?

Anonymous said...

zero look at ECR's number of airlines that have gone bust this year in the sidebar

Anonymous said...

oil prices are coming down so watch this space............

Peter Checksfield said...

It's OK wanting Manston Airport to close, but what do you think would replace it? Westwood Cross 2? China Gateway 6? I certainly couldn't see it returning to farm land or becoming an amusement park...

Anonymous said...

The college should have been relocated on the airport site. Accessible for not only Thanet residents but also students from Canterbury and beyond. Plenty of parking too.

Or we could just relocate it to the most congested part of Thanet with no increase in road capacity.

Anonymous said...

What wuld replace it would be affluent Londoners with high disposable incomes. Who will transform the place. They will be put off by being under a flight path.

Peter Checksfield said...

More housing in other words...

Anonymous said...

I saw the interview and he blustered on about a rail link from Manston across to Ashford and 55 minutes to London .
I would imagine the logistics of buying the land ,and tunneling and rerouting services would be enormous. You can see where Boris Johnson is coming from with his island scheme , because he had alredy anticipated that a new rail line would never happen. Look how long it has taken to not get a fast speed service that goes along the existing lines.

steve said...

anon 2:53pm, the oil price is depressed because a recession is coming. People don't fly, go on holiday, during a recession.The airlines have gone through a year of increasing oil prices. One problem following another, which means elongated troubled times for the airline industry. watch this space....

Peter - our a calamity council could have fit thanet earth, westwood x and hundreds of houses on hmanston. What a cock up. However,I have the perfect use. One wide, dead straight strip of tarmac pointing at Ramsgate, a few tins of white emulsion and you have a dual carriageway to speed all those people in who will want to live here once the airport is out of the way.

Whats your idea Peter?

Peter Checksfield said...

I don't have any firm ideas, but then again I don't particularly want to see it close either...

steve said...

do you use it?

Anonymous said...

10 years, 10,000 jobs promised, and all we have to show for it is a useless strip of concrete.

Carter was also talking bullsh*t when he was pumping Manston up saying it was the longest runway in the UK blah blah blah. FYI here is the definitive list:

Heathrow 3902m
Gatwick 3316m
Boscombe Down 3212m
Campbeltown (Macrihanish) 3049m
Manchester 3048m
Stansted 3048m
Fairford 3046m
Prestwick 2987m
Doncaster 2893m
Aldergrove 2780m

Manston is a comparative tiddler at 2752m. Which is maybe why Infratil want to extend it to accommodate the Airbus A380. Oh joy.

Anonymous said...

Well I don't use Manston, but it was here before I was. Therefor I consider that I shouldn't really complain.

Steve, the dual cabbageway is already planned (and i understand agreed) as phase 2 of the works that improved the road by Pfizer. It will go under the railway on its way through Cliffs End then to a roundabout that will link left to the 'Pfizer'rd. and right to join up with the existing road which will also be dualled.

hth

Nige

Peter Checksfield said...

I don't fly anywhere...a couple of weeks ago I went outside east Kent (to London) for the first time in over 2 years...

But if I did want to fly anywhere then of course I'd rather use Manston than Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead, Luton...

Anonymous said...

Paul Carter is the biggest nimby of them all.

Anonymous said...

Ramsgate is a beautiful historical sea side town that only recently fell on hard times. To reduce it to a noise polluted annexe to an unviable airport would be criminal.

Anonymous said...

Just how blighted do Paul Carter, KCC and TDC want Ramsgate to be? How is Terry Painter going to sell any of his (so far non-existent) Royal Sands flats when people hear they want to put an airport a third the size of Stansted a mile down the road, directly on the flight path? So much for all Terry's talk about 'waking up to a coffee and a sea view' they will be up all night with 747s flying a few feet over their heads. Or is the truth that the people buying into Royal Sands do not give a stuff as they will be renting their 'luxury' flats out to poor sods on the social just like the Royal Sea Bathing?

Anonymous said...

Carter is supposed to be speaking on behalf of the people of Kent. But Manston is a complete dog and he's backing it. Meanwhile he vociferously opposes Boris's airport in the estuary. I think Carter is just playing politics. He's trying to portray Manston as some sort of alternative to undermine plans for Boris's fantasy island. He's doing it on time that is paid for by the taxpayers of Kent. In reality, neither of them is going to succeed. Manston will fail (yet again) and Boris's Island will remain a dream (or nightmare, depending on your point of view). I say let's get rid of Carter and let's get someone in at KCC who is prepared to deal with reality.

As for that Checksfield guy, get over it. For more than ten years we've had the great and the good telling us that we have to have an airport there because there's nothing else that can be done with it. We've been told about the thousands of jobs it will create and the regeneration it will promote. Just how many years will this have to go on before you guys admit that you were wrong?

Meanwhile just about every other area of the South-East is busy regenerating by attracting and supporting small to medium sized businesses to populate their business parks. And what's wrong with building some decent housing? Thanet is being crammed full of flats so that it's now more densely populated than areas of London. The few of us left with any money can't find any decent properties to spend it on. All the Council ever comes up with is more and more "affordable housing" (slums) for "the workers" (as if the rest of us sit on our arses all day).
I say close Manston ASAP and offer it up for a mixed development (businesses, leisure and housing. We could even have a decent road into Ramsgate. Who will vote for me?
The Thanet Phantom (try saying that after you've had a few)

steve said...

everyone has to get over the "manston was here before we were" debate, especially you Nige.

Manston was a military airbase, protecting and paid for by the
taxpayer. Built in war-time, used in 3 wars (1, 2 and cold), and not subject to any planning permission etc as wartime builds don't need nor warrant public consultation. Only in the last 10 year has it become a commercial airport.

My house was built in 1870. I was born some time after that. The airport has only been here since 1997.

steve said...

thanet phantom, you get my vote

steve said...

Peter, why would you suppoort Manston if you don't fly, or work at the airport? I am assuming there isn't a "naked baggage handlers" link on your blog.

old baggage said...

Naked baggage handlers, mmmm! They can come and handle me any time!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Manston Airport make a great lorry park for Operation Stack??

Anonymous said...

Carter says in the Politics Show interview 'there are no environmental problems with Manston as the planes just fly straight in and out over sea'.

WRONG Mr Carter. There is the not inconsiderable matter of RAMSGATE, a heritage-rich Victorian seaside town, which is slap between the runway and the sea. But then since when have Maidstone Tories or Thanet Tories for that matter given a tinker's about our environment?

Peter Checksfield said...

Steve (& others) where have I said that I actually SUPPORT Manston? All I'm saying is that I'm not sure that the alternatives if it WAS closed down would be any better (I do like the college idea though!).

steve said...

sorry peter, took from the "I don't really want to see it close" and other comments you've made in relation to the airport as a positive nod to it.

agree there would be problems finding a use, I doubt any residential development would get out of the ground for years, and think all of the things that should have gone in it have been built already.

Thanet Earth 2, maybe? I imagine the greenhouses are going to be a success, but boy are we going to be lit up like a christmas tree with the current ones, let alone building any more.

how nice it would be for thanet to be the salad capital of northern europe, even if it is all grown 'artificially'.