Wednesday, February 04, 2009

BREAKING NEWS - Council Set To Green Light Night Flights

This just in from Thanet Extra:

Controversial plans for even more night flights above Thanet are being considered. The shock proposals, which could become a reality as early as this May, would see dozens more flights into Kent International Airport every month.

The first planes would take off or land at Manston from 6am and would operate until 11.30pm.

Click here to read on
Click here for follow-up story on Thanet Extra


Michael Child said...

Richard I don’t if it’s just my computer being grumpy but I can’t make the link work.

Eastcliff Richard said...

It's working my end!

Michael Child said...

Deleted my temporary internet files and its working fine now.

Anonymous said...

British Airways World Cargo is the airline. Up to 11:30 pm and before 6:00 am is hardly night time...bring it on :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Peter

Peter Checksfield said...

Actually that wasn't me, but I agree!

Rob said...


SMEG is gonna be mighty peeved when he catches sight of this!

Anonymous said...

No one will doubt all the anti-lobby will be out inforce on this announcement. From my count about less than 20 people - will galvanise the population of Ramsgate into hysteria. Just think E.U. jet apart from some daft financial decisions proved that the main opinion from Thanet residents was that they would like to fly to pastures new for a new experience of a holiday without the stress of Stansted ,Gatwick or Heathrow. Now is the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is - i have lived under Manston Flight path sinc e 1984 and previously near London Airport (heathrow\) A small step for Thanet with Cargo could be a big step for local travel with other opertators following in B.A's footsteps - showing support for our local economy and future

Charlie Thomas said...

Laura Sandys who supports expansion of the airport has advertising hoardings around the area with the message 'Tell Laura what matters to you'. Right folks, get cracking and tell her 'a decent night's sleep would be a good idea and, by the way, don't you planning permission to advertise at the roadside?'

She might change her mind about the benefits of the airport if she can't get to sleep, assuming she lives in the area.

S.M.E.G said...

Laura does live in town, is right under the flightpath, which makes it even harder to understand why she supports it.

4.54pm. Laura was telling me on saturday that infratil don't want cargo at the airport because the margins are too low. Passengers is what they want. A few days later, this comes out. She says she supports the airport, but how can she make a considered descision if they are telling her porkys?

If you think an airline in the current climate is going to start passengers services from Manston, you have another thing coming. An un-resitricted freight airport, night flights, shit-bucket planes, and you still have the slog to Stansted - thats the reality.

S.M.E.G said...

oh, and 4.54pm. Manston cannot survive on Thanet residents' flight needs. EU JET perfectly demonstrated that, and right in the middle of the biggest budget aviation boom this country has seen.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the 'Nimby's' will be out in force, all 30 of them. Lets hope the council are strong enough to resist the small minded few

Anonymous said...

Saw a British Airways 737 taxying this evening at Manston as I drove by.

Anonymous said...

4 x BA passenger planes in today, diverts from Gatwick.

S.M.E.G said...

7.42pm, as the whole electorate have never been asked, neither you nor I can say how many support or are against the airport, merely speculate.

If the council are happy to say people support it, I am happy to say people are against it.

its all very easy to resolve.

well done Mansaton. Parking lot while a real airport has issues.

S.M.E.G said...

4.54pm, is that cllr kirby?

JP Blanchard said...

4.24pm. It is night time for my children who live under the flight path. And their school is under the flight path. And the parks and beach where they play.

The noise from 747's is pretty intense and the negative effects on childhood development well published. The kids round here have enough to deal with already let alone this.

This is something that ought to concern all Thanetians. At the moment it would appear 'divide and conquer' is working. There is a compromise to be had, for the betterment of everyone in Thanet. C'mon Ms Sandy's, show some leadership.

Anonymous said...

only 11 departures a week, not too bad surely.

Anonny Mouse said...

I really don't know what all the fuss is about! A few extra flights and not between midnight and 6am. Whats more, I can't see Manston winning against the recession conditions we find ourselves in.

I really don't care whether it survives or dies, although local flights to decent destinations would be good.

Oh and SMEG (dried semen?) please don't assume that everyone underneath the flightpath are anti Manston.

Rearview mirror said...

All good news! By the way I live under ECR's ivory tower, before the complaints start that I live in Canterbury.

S.M.E.G said...

10.51pm, remembr this is the start, not the end. What other requests are going to come through from the airport? How complicit are our council going to be?

They are supposedly reviewing the masterplan and compiling a detailed, considered response. What's the point if the airport ask for extensions to operating times that they currently don't follow?

Please think about where this will lead. Night flights. Hundreds of flights per day. No respite. If action an opposition is not taken now, when it becomes a nuisance to you it will be too late.

57 night flights for 11 months in 2008. Full year figures not available. That's a 500% rise over 2006 when infratil took over, where flight activity has increased by only 19% fir the same period. Facts do not lie.

S.M.E.G said...

Oh, and JP-laura sandys did not know about this announcement. Why would her own party not tell her?

JP Blanchard said...

If it is indeed only 11 flights, why the need for an extension? They are asking for 122.5 hour window to land 11 planes. C'mon, that's 11 hours per plane. Does it take that long or are they after the extension for future reasons?

So what possible economic damage would be done by sensibly denying the window extension? Nothing at all.

Cheryl said...


An extraordinary meeting of full council is to be held next week (Thursday 12 February) to discuss a variation to the Section 106 agreement to enable some night-time flying at Kent International Airport .

The request, from airport owners Infratil, who are in discussions with a major European airline that wishes to locate its long haul international aircraft at the airport. This request came into the council last week (Thursday 29 January). If an agreement is reached with the company, it is expected that 747 aircraft will be based at Kent International, with flights likely to start between May and October 2009.

Infratil were asked to do two things to help with the relocation of this company to Manston. The first were some infrastructure improvements, none of which require planning consent. The second is that the company is looking for confirmation that it will be able to operate between 11pm and 11.30pm and also between 6am and 7am. A total of 11 aircraft movements a week is being proposed, with only a portion of these scheduled during these times.

Information provided by Infratil to the council explains that they would undertake to improve noise monitoring and reporting, particularly regarding flights between 11pm and 11.30pm and 6am and 7am.

These aircraft movements would be covered by an 18 month variation to the Section 106 agreement, which would be reviewed every six months. This is likely to be succeeded by a comprehensive night time flying policy covering the period 2010 to 2018, subject to environmental controls.

To discuss these proposals, an extraordinary meeting of full council is being arranged for Thursday 12 February at 5.30pm at the council's offices in Cecil Street , Margate .

Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Culture and Economy, said: "This application from the airport owners has only just come in and the council is moving quickly to ensure that all members are able to have their say on it. This is an important issue for Thanet and one that residents would expect us to carefully debate and that's why we've scheduled this extraordinary meeting of full council."


Cheryl Pendry
Press and Media Manager
Thanet District Council

Anonymous said...

If you check the current timetable for BAWC you'll see they need these exclusions occasionally for their current routse structure. Not all flights require these slight changes, some days with longer flights need early starts or late arrivals.

Anonymous said...

So we can expect the 04:30 landings from America then. Why you ask, wind much like the wind from the airport supporters club without looking at the detail...the devil (TDC) is always in the detail.

Anonymous said...

The more relaxed night flying restrictions won't mean a thing anyway. Typically flights from the other side of the world often arrive late, or early. All they'll do is pay a 'fine', which in the past has meant a DVD player or TV for Acol village hall.

Agent Douane said...

SMEG at 08:43, to state there could be 'Hundreds of flights per day'is nonsense and irresponsible bearing in mind people might think you know what you're talking about and worry more than they ought. For Thursday 5th February 2009 at Gatwick I have counted 204 total arrivals at the North & South terminals from 06:55 h to 22:55 h. Most of these are short haul European flights, i.e. 737s and smaller that make little noise. The Manston terminal is the size of one transfer baggage unit at Gatwick so is too small for your hundreds of daily flights and there is not a lot of room for it to expand. Where then do you arrive at the presumption we could have 'Hundreds of flights per day. No respite'? That is the language of sensationalism over actual fact. When do you expect us to have hundreds of flights per day? You said it, now give an answer, thanks.

Agent Douane said...

p/s just took a look at another Infratil Airport. Since I can only go by what is available and viewable at the minute and today, flight arrivals at Glasgow Prestick between 13:00 & 23:20 today number 14 total. Even if there were any earlier ones I doubt there would be many more. Glasgow Prestwick has 2 million people within a 1 hour drive and 4 million within a 2 hour drive and two runways. As a comparrison that is far from 'hundreds of flights per day' SMEG sensationalises us with. Manston will never come near being a Stansted, Gatwick, more likely the example here quoted, Glasgow.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Why, then, do KCC advertise Manston in the regeneration document they put out in January as 'London's 4th Airport'?

That would make it bigger than Luton and London City. I presume this is just aspirational hype, but it demonstrates where they think they are going with it!

S.M.E.G said...

Agent Duane, its all in the masterplan. These are infratil's figures.

6mm passengers per year
divide by 365, that 16,000 passengers per day. Its likely you will get quiest days, busy days. holiday periods will be concentrated. How many passengers on a flight? 100? thats 160 passenger flights per day on average. 200? 80 flights per day on average.
What are the busiest days of the week at an airport? Monday, Friday, Saturday. Flights are concentrated on these days.

Add freight flights. 500,000 tonnes each year predicted. Thats almost 20 times as much at the moment. 1 mor 2 freight flights per day, increasing by a factor of 20.

Hundreds of flights per day will occurr at the busiest times. Its not sensationalist, its what Infratil and the council want for the airport.

the masterplan also talks of developing the airport, departure lounges etc to cope. The current airport has capacity for only 750k passengers.

Agent Douane said...

SMEG, thanks for your breakdown of figures. You have obviously looked at this more than I have but I do not buy your concerns at all. ECR points out that KCC advertise Manston in the regeneration document published in January as 'London's 4th Airport'but caveats that statement with 'aspirational hype'too true. He also says 'it demonstrates where they think they are going with it!' Well, KCC have no experience at all with major airports and to my mind are talking a good job, that's all. I could think I'm going to be rich but it won't happen. It would be great to see the airport develop as a regional short hauler, even a 'Parkway' railway station put in but I don't see it physically expanding much unless to the north and west they demolish the Industrial Park at the Loop and Acol and don't proceed with China Gateway, to the south the land slopes too much away into a marsh to be useful, to the east, Westwood X and Ramsgate and sea. The Geography of the area hems the airport in. I don't buy KCC's statement. I do think it could be a good regional airport though, especially for business flights and connectors from LAP with a fast rail connection. SMEG, I'll buy a hat and I'll eat it if the hundreds of flights a day arrive, promise!

Anonymous said...

Well said Agent Douane, like all the 10 or 20 people who oppose anything and everything that may help drag Thanet out of the dumps they are selective in what they choose from plans and then skew it to suit their own twisted arguements. Maybe if some of these people took a step back and considered the wider view they would see the damage they do in denigrating the area. If they dont like it,,,,,,,,,MOVE AWAY.

S.M.E.G said...

Duane - do we thing these figures will ever be achieved? Seeing as the last operator, EU Jet, managed to fail during the biggest boom in budget air travel this country has seen - no. It will not get to these figures.

Infratil want more than a regional airport, so do KCC. KCC want 10mm passengers each year. Infratil see themselves as a competitor to Stansted. KCC and TDC support them.

Thanet cannot support an airport. Nor can the surrounding towns.
The options available elsewhere, ie, London airports, are too vast and close to compete with.

All the time Manstons bumbles along, two potential outcomes are on the horizon

1) no success, another 20 years of nothing, and a wasted opportunity for Thanet

2) freight galore.

Neithe are palatable, hence our stance.

1.01pm, if you think our view is blinkered, you are very very wrong. Focusing on the airport and what it alone will bring is the blinkered approach TDC, KCC are taking. How much will an airport keep away from the area? Who will live in Ramsgate if planes are overhead all day? Think about it.

Rob said...

@ anonymous 1:01pm

Why should they have to move?

I'm very pro the airport, but then again I live over here in leafy Westgate and although we are able to see and hear flights in and out of KIA the noise level is much reduced. The extremely occasional jet that goes over the house causes more interest than anger.

If KIA is to take off then concessions have to be made, these could take the shape of many things. Infratil could pay for housing on the flightpath to be insulated to help reduce the noise, the council to cut the amount of council tax payable... etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

As you seem to be keen on breaking down figures to prove your arguement maybe instead of hysterical ranting take a calm look at what is being proposed, it works out at an extra 95 flights a month.
At the moment there is an average of 444 heavy aircraft movements a month, add to that the 95 being proposed and that comes to 539, divide that by the average number of days in a month 30,
that works out at nearly 18, divide that by the hours being proposed 17.5, that works out at 1 per hour.
Hardly "Hundreds of flights per day. No respite."

Anonymous said...

Rob, no one is suggesting that you move, what I am saying is that people like SMEG who have only just moved to the area and straight away start moaning and complaining about the fact that planes fly in and out of a nearby Airport should not have moved here in the first place. It would seem to me that if he/she wasnt aware that there was an Airport them the complaint isnt about the Council or Infratil rather it should be taken up with whoever did the searches for the purchase of the house in Ramsgate as they failed to inform them that there was an Airport nearby.


Anonymous said...

Glad the noise will not bother some peopl. How about the hundreds of kilos of carbon dropping on your head/house/garden/kids?

Anonymous said...

Surely anyone who buys property near an airport, whether major or small, must expect aircraft noise.
Try Living near Gatwick or in the flight path of an RAF base where planes are less than 100 foot above the house.
Manston has just been waiting for something to happen and now it is.
Remember the airport was there long before many of you were.

Anonymous said...

One flight of 400 miles:

Burning 1 pound of jet-a makes from 2.9 to 3.1 pounds of CO2.

One gallon is 6.6 pounds.

A 747 burns about a gallon every second.

A 747 burns about 5 gallons every mile.

There are many other variables to figure the fuel required to take off, fly and land, but a rough calculation would be

5g/m x 400m = 2000gal
2000gal x 6.6 lbs/gal = 13200lbs
13200lbs x 3 lbs of co2/lbs of fuel = 39,600 lbs of co2

Much more is produced on take off with heavy load than at any other time during flight.

Peter Checksfield said...

Great to see so many pro-Manston supporters coming out of the woodwork!

I can now relax a bit more & concentrate on what I do best... : )

Anonymous said...

"Remember the airport was there long before many of you were."

HAHA! That's a good one.
You mean like Nuclear power and atom bombs?

Peter Checksfield said...

The airport is comparable to a nuclear bomb?!

You anti-Manston nutters are getting more & more desperate...

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with nuclear power. It took me many miles under the sea......
But Manston was still there before you

Anonymous said...

You don't know how old he is.

Anonymous said...

The point is, Ramsgate was there before Manston.

And for all those idiots who prat on about 'prosperity' have any of you been to an airport town? Have you been to Crawley or Hounslow? They are shit holes.

Is that what you want? Ramsgate (more listed buildings than Bath), Margate and Broadstairs to become like Crawley and Hounslow? You must be out of your tiny minds.

But at least at Crawley you can't hear the planes as they don't fly over it (take note 2:09pm).

Nige said...

The second is that the company is looking for confirmation that it will be able to operate between 11pm and 11.30pm and also between 6am and 7am. A total of 11 aircraft movements a week is being proposed, with only a portion of these scheduled during these times.

Information provided by Infratil to the council explains that they would undertake to improve noise monitoring and reporting, particularly regarding flights between 11pm and 11.30pm and 6am and 7am.

So SMEG are all worked up about an extra 11 movements a week, that will be monitored more heavily.

Surely as the number is so low it is worth welcoming it so the metrics can be examined carefully. Remember this is only for 18 months and reviewed every 6 months.

IMHO SMEG is a joke, they talk about hundreds of flights a day in one paragraph (thats about one every 6 minutes) Then contradict themselves and state that the area cannot sustain it...
Seeing as the last operator, EU Jet, managed to fail during the biggest boom in budget air travel this country has seen - no. It will not get to these figures.

If you SMEG folks want to be taken seriously and not laughed at and derided then you need to be accurate and professional and NOT sensationalistic.

As ever, I don't care if they fly overhead - but then again I moved away :)


Anonymous said...

Nige - you lucky bar steward!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with SMEG. I can see the potential of Ramsgate - more listed buildings than Bath etc.

Flights could never compensate for the amount of jobs that will be created by Ramsgate being rediscovered.

The jobs argument doesnt stack up. you will be runinng the crown jewels and getting nothing in return.
Nobody with any taste, sophistication or brains wants to live underneath a flight path. taste, sophistication and brains are what drive economies.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been there in years, but as far as I recall the beach in Hounslow isn't as nice as in Margate & Broadstairs...

Anonymous said...

Same as it ever was. The same selfish b*st*rds who would run a motorway through your house if they could make a buck from it are still shouting their mouths off.

"The airport was here first" they say. Well no, actually. The town of Ramsgate pre-dates the airport by a few hundred years.

"It'll create jobs," they say. Well no, actually. Cargo comes in on pallets and is loaded and unloaded by three men and a dog. Unless you are going to be unpacking pallets at the airport there will be no jobs. And if it's BA they'll be transporting the pallets up their purpose-built facility at Heathrow to do that. The only reason they're coming here is to avoid the quota count restrictions at Heathrow.

You're just NIMBYs" they say. Well no, actually. I wouldn't wish this on anybody. Moreover, I don't agree with buying in flowers from Kenya. I would much prefer to see things grown in the UK, which would create far more (and better paid jobs, than an airport ever will.

"If you don't like it move somewhere else," they say. Well no, actually. The last time I looked we lived in a democracy. This means that I shouldn't be told where to live by some Neanderthal who thinks his right to a mythical job is more important than my right to peace and quiet. It's funny, but most of the people I hear blathering on about the jobs it would create have no intention of working there themselves. They are long-term layabouts or Councillors.

"You can't stop progress," they say. Well that presupposes that the creation of a massive freight airport is progress. Take a good look at the towns and areas of towns situated in flight paths around the country. They are the most deprived areas; the ones where nobody who can afford better wants to live. Hands up who thinks it's better for Ramsgsate if all of the people with money leave. OK, I can see a few diehard left-wingers there with their hands up, but who is that voting against the proposal? I see publicans, shopkeepers, builders, cleaners all voting to keep the people with money who provide them with an income. I see numerous prominent local businessmen against this nonsense. I see no-one of any stature voting in favour.

Agent Douane said...

My end view on all this would be if the airport does not succeed under Infratril, and unless some really serious operator immediately ever stepped in, Manston should be developed for industry much like the old Croydon Airport was. Roger Gale in this week's IOTE is right when he states tha without the airport there is little or no economic case for the extension of the fast rail link. Interestingly, some 10 years a go Redhill Airport was seriously considered as a feeder to Gatwick but the idea seems to have sunk without trace, mainly due to 'outraged of Redhill' as I recall.

Anonymous said...

SMEG needs to revise his figures-
747's carry about 400 and the airbus a388 carries 555,so not too many flights per day really.

Anonymous said...

Air travel is finished. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

All of Ramsgate will wake up soon. To, er, air travel.

Anonymous said...

7.18pm, A380's you mean, and 747's are used for long haul. There is not going to be very much in the way of long haul passenger flights from Manston. Or many passengers flights at all...

Anonymous said...

2.05pm -searches on a property - that would be the council

Anonymous said...

actually no,, its the buyers solicitor who asks the questions,


Anonymous said...

What a sad bunch the anti airport group are, interesting that some have actually moved here and bought a house by the airport and are now upset that aircraft will actually use it,
SMEG should get themselves into the real world, Thanet needs jobs and the majority of Thanet residents would rather fly from Manston than Gatwick or Heathrow.
As someone who watches our local political scene, it is the same sadnames that occur protesting about just about everything, Thanet would seem to have an opportunity, and we should all be grasping it with both hands.

Anonymous said...

What a sad bunch the pro airport group are. They actually think that jumbos thundering overhead is good for the population and even more bizarre, they think that it will mean jobs for locals.
It's obvious that any company trying to operate a passenger service from Manston "London" airport will fold within a couple of years at the most. Something to do with maybe more people than those of Thanet being needed to keep any such company solvent. Want to get to London? Oh sure just walk up here, get these three buses and then a train and there you are!

S.M.E.G said...

2.13pm We do live in the real world, and it happens to be thanet. Some supporters are new to the area, some have lived here all their lives. None were born before the airport was built, so according to many on here, takes away our right to complain and free speech.
Thanet needs jobs because many Thanet people are out of work, right? Manston airport can't guarantee airport jobs for Thanet people. That is law. If the council were serious about getting Thanets long term unemployed into the new jobs being created, they'd be training those people to take up those jobs. Except they aren't.

Anonymous said...

Quite right. How many third generation unemployables are TDC proposing to train to be airline pilots, eh?

The only people who will benefit are the carpet and white van companies who are owned by the people who run the council. The poor sods they employ will still be on the minimum wage. The unemployed will still be unemployed. And unless they wrap themselves up in brown paper and parcel tape, none of the selfish Thanet tw*ts who say they'd love a thriving local airport so they can jet off to Majorca or wherever will be on these flights either.

mnottingham said...

I have spoken to hundreds of Northwood constituents since I was elected. I always ask what are poeple's concerns locally. I cannot recall any of them raising the airport and the noise of planes.

When the airport comes up in longer conversations the vast majority of Northwood residents are supportive of having an airport.

In the short period available I cannot do a similar exercise to consult constituents but hope this information may be useful.

I have published a poll on my blog

Cllr. Mark Nottingham
Labour - Northwood Ward

Eastcliff Richard said...

Excellent idea Cllr N! And one which I've, um, just nicked!