Monday, 30 May 2011

Night flights study to be taken with a pinch of salt!

The recent study produced by York Aviation, and paid for by Infratil, is based on an aspirational Airport Master Plan which was also produced by Infratil. It was no doubt designed to influence the local media, Councillors and planners, and is an expression of Infratil's hopes for the future. Master Plans are at best guesses and should be treated with appropriate scepticism.
The Manston Master Plan, published in October 2008, predicts a throughput of 2.2 million passengers and 167,000 tonnes of freight a year by 2018 with employment rising to 3,500. There appears little or no justification for these figures as Airports and Airlines, for their own commercial reasons, tend to exaggerate the number of jobs that will be created by airport expansion: they have shareholders to keep happy.
Currently all Regional Airports are suffering due to the economic down turn and if new runways are ever built at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted the future for Manston could be very bleak indeed.
Thanet Labour Deputy Leader Cllr Alan Poole said "Manston is operating nowhere near capacity during the day (07:00 to 23:00) and the introduction of night flights from 23:00 to 07:00 simply cannot be justified. Night flights could bring untold misery to Thanet’s residents. Sadly our local health statistics are already the worst in Kent and sleep deprivation is known to cause heart problems and further reduce life expectancy. The health and quality of life for Thanet’s residents must surely remain paramount considerations".
Thanet Labour Leader Cllr Clive Hart said "In so many ways our relatively poorer district here in Thanet is all too often seen as a very convenient dumping ground by an otherwise prosperous south-east economy and the protection of our local communities and their delicate local environment must therefore be our main priorities. Let's be clear, we - Thanet Labour - most certainly want Manston to succeed and to be prosperous. We certainly want good jobs for local people but we will not be hoodwinked by a study so clearly designed to benefit private interest and run roughshod over the threatened local communities that we represent".

1 comment:

  1. So do Thanet Labour support the Queen or not... Ask Ian Driver