Monday, December 29, 2008


As you know I've no axe to grind as far as Manston Airport or as some know it Kent International is concerned, but a recent out burst from Kents Green Party over the future of our local airport, to me looks indicative of some rather woolly thinking.

Now some have argued that Manston that will never attract business due to the population of Thanet, which would be a valid point if airports didn't have regular customers who have to travel some many miles and even hours to reach, as in the case of Heathrow and Gatwick both of which I currently consider to be local airports.

Both the Green Party and CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) have criticised Infratil's master plan for the Airport which would if they were correct result in up to 6 million passengers using the airport by 2033, a "flight of fantasy" say the greens and the CPRE chip in with "unrealistic".

Assuming these parties are correct, where's the beef, if their so convinced Manston will fail why don't they direct themselves to more pressing environment issues and leave Manston alone. After a Grim year the thought that one local business is considering growth is a little ray of sunshine and since their business would indeed, if successful bring in good quality jobs rather than the likely warehouse jobs @ Chinagate,I know which I would prefer.

A sustainable expansion of the airport which Infratile are working toward is infinitely more, environmentally friendly than the concrete vision that CGP has.



  1. tony, for the mild inconvenience to you to travel to gatwick, stansted etc when you do fly, think of the proposed inconvenience of this who live on the flight appraches or those who live on the road approaches. 6 mm passengers means lots of planes at 500ft over ramsgate for 16 hours a day. Manston village will be chocca with coaches from railway station. Thanet way will be solid with salad bearing lorries and travellers who enjoy a package holiday to Malta. It's all worthwhile as long as you save yourself an hour or two.

    And if you think an airport will produce higher graded jobs than some warehouses, you are very much mistaken. The majority of roles created are low pay, service type roles.

    All the time infratil/ tdc continue with this pipe dream, 297 hectares of prime land is wasted. That's why the airport needs opposing, along with the outside chance people start using it.

  2. The airport has existed for years, when EU jet operated there for a few months it was hardly noticeable.

    If you take your arguments to their logical conclusion the whole country would have to shut down, for instance those living by railways would demand trains stop moving, no traffic on roads.

    We'd be back to the stone age, no thanks!

    Still Gordon Brown is doing is best to make the pound utterly worthless so maybe no one will be able to travel in the near future.

  3. Tony my understanding of the situation relating to the airport is that at the moment they only have facilities in place to deal with a relatively small fuel spillage on the grassed part of the airfield.

    As the airport sits on top of Thanet’s underground drinking water reservoir this is quite important, as the benzene related chemicals in fuels could permanently destroy this type of reservoir.

    I asked them what the current plan is and was told that they keep a digger on hand and if there is a spillage the plan is to dig out the contaminated chalk as quickly as possible, the problem being that this type of plan only works for relatively small spillages.

    If Manston had a lot of flights involving large planes taking off full of fuel they would need an alterative plan and so far no one has come up with one.

  4. Tony , if you ask those who lived under the flightpath and put up with night flights during eu jets time may beg to differ.

    Just because it has bee private for 11 years doesn't make it right. It was a poor decision then, it still is now to have an airport so near to a town.

    Cars, trains, very different. If I parked my car outside your house and revved the nuts off it, a passing 737 at 500 ft would drown it out completely. A passing electric train hardly registers, having lived near them before.

    Michael has made another good point . There are plenty of other reasons not to. As long as you are not inconvenienced when going on holiday though, eh?

  5. Hi, I notice that none of those commenting in response to your post are actually against flying (none suggest taking a holiday in Britain etc) they just urge you to fly using another airport in another area and fly over anyone else's house, just not theirs.

  6. Most, if not all of these Green Party lot don't even live in Thanet; one bloke from the GP writes letters to OUR local paper yet he don't even live here.
    We are facing the greatest economic challenge since the 30's and these loons want to screw up an opportunity, even when its only a pipe dream. No good being GREEN DO-GOODER when people are hanging themselves due to money problems

  7. I am all in favour of expanding the airport as it will bring some much needed ethnic diversity to Thanet. If you look at other airport towns such as Hounslow and Crawley, where up to 50% of the population come from ethnic backgrounds and work at the airports, the indigenous culture has been richly enhanced. Plus it would give the BNP round here something to choke on, so bring it on.

  8. I am on record as being pro the airport and as for fuel spillage Jenners have been there years Somerfield sell fuel Manston Garage etc etc are all in the area all the local farms have large fuel tanks. The whole issue is blown up into a what if. I am on the side of what if its a sucsess. Also I promote Thanet as a place to holiday as its great here I dont want to fly anywhere. I will holiday in the UK again this year because I want to but if I wanted to fly somewhere I would love to fly over Thanet houses to take of. The Greens and Co are all lets revert to the 1850's and have kids with rickets so long as they can have standards of 2008 but at no damage to the enviroment ...... they never make sense to me ..... and Steve if I drive to Gatwick I still fly over someone your argument is very NIMBY.... bring it on Good luck Infratil and a happy new year.Don

  9. Well said Tony - your views are totally in line with many residents who realise the airport potential - and do want to give it a chance to succeed - there is too much apathy in Thanet - too many people are unhappy to go to Gatwick and Stansted and would welcome a chance to fly from Manston and at the same time improve the local economy

  10. don, 8.47pm flying isn't catching a train or a bus. having one at the end of the road isn't commonplace. you are flying at 35,000ft hundreds, if not thousands of miles everytime you get on one. it would be very convenient if every community had one.

    Manston is not and never will be a commercial success as far as a passenger airport is concerned. Keep on supporting it everyone, and you'll end up with the biggest freight airport in the country. All the downside, nowhere to fly.

    6.25. I haven't put war and peacve on here, but holidays in the uk, ie, short weekend breaks, will become more popular. Flying 747's at 500ft over a seaside town, beach and royal harbour ain't going to attract anyone. And do you see TDC promoting the area anywhere outside of Thant to attract people? Who visits at the moment? Where do they come from? How do they get here? Would you fly if flights were available? Its all very simple, other councils do it.

    7.10pm, I'm no green, but those I have spoken to on Manston do live in Thanet. I have spoken to others who live outside the area. Sometimes it takes an outside view to see whats happening. Try googling Stansted's airport history, Gatwick, and you'll see how they started. And why you are at it, look on a map at their nearest urban area in relation to the runway(Don, same for you) Nothing at all like Ramsgate in relation to manston. And if you think the airport is going to save us, just look at what is happening to the air industry during this recession - contracting, airlines going bust, routes being withdrawn.

    If everyone was a nimby, a lot of back yards would be saved.

  11. Steve

    People such as yourself, with a 'can't do' attitude have been proven wrong many, many times.
    If you were as omniscient as you appear to think you are, you would be running the airpot.

  12. It seems that the airport supporters here are the usual local losers - they have spent all their lives in Thanet and the prospect of being able to fly conveniently to Jersey is their wildest wet dream come true. How sad. Fortunately they will soon be outnumbered by the younger generation, many from outside the area, who have a realistic vision for the world, and the future.

  13. Its clear to me greens need to be more realistic, most of Britain likes to travel, that's never going to change clearly Gordon Browns, economic policy is very expensive, already the pound is not worth a toss in europe.

    But should we ever recover from our current situation, I want to travel from the nearest airport. Manston which is well placed to provide facilities for maybe a million or more without a lot of new concrete ought to be encouraged by Green's if they weren't so blinkered.

    What is the Green vision? the Stone Age.

    When Green activists stop using roads rail air electricity supermarkets manufactured products then I'll be more than happy to back them.

  14. Thanks for calling me a local loser. Bit to generalistic for me personaly so I wont take any offence. But as you seem to be so anti things or is it that you are just anti everything. We have some fantastic opportunities lets run with them and see what happens because if we dont and keep our heads in the sand we will all be losers

  15. anon 1.12pm, wrong, so wrong. Its a can't do attitude thats got us here - unprecedented economic growth over the past 10 years and thanet is still years behind the rest of the country. A dead horse airport that has floundered during that period is still being flogged by a backward looking/thinking council.

    Smart arse comments questioning my knowledge would be better delivered without spelling mistakes. But you are correct - I have limited understanding about 'airpots'.

  16. Perhaps Steve should read the latest plans for the airport! If the airport improves and they build the station, this bus supported facility will be accessed by a new road, not the
    B2050 through Manston Village.
    I am not sure in my lifetime that this 6mppa passenger movement will happen, but I hope it does for jobs are badly needed in the area.
    I say to everybody on the nethercourt estate, if you moved there it was already an airport, so tough. You sometimes expect planes at airports!!!!!!!!!!

  17. anon 3.41pm, i have read the plan, and the road comes along some way into the 6mm passengers. Manston village will be used to bring people from the railway, and that could mean dozens of coaches a day for many years to come.

    I bore myself saying this, but people just don't get it. Manston has been an airport for 11 years. It was a military airbase for 80 years prior to that, not subject to environmental concerns, planning rules etc etc.

    if you have been here 5 mins or 50 years, you've got the same right to oppose its change of use.

  18. another point 3.41pm. I have a job, I dont need the airport for that thanks. The majority of people of working age in thanet have a job as well. Is the airport going to provide them with a better option? Baggage handler? Security/ Ground Staff - not the most dynamic, but good solid jobs. If I had a say in things, I'd be pushing for something a little loftier for future generations. Also, what study has been made into potential job losses by dirty industries being placed in Thanet? Would an airport drive tourists away from Ramsgate? Probably, and a shed load of investment with it. Large warehouses containting god knows what at china gateway. Will these limit the type of business that could come here?

    You have to look at the bigger picture, not just airport = jobs

    Seeing as you are so familiar with the plan I challenge you to find the "jobs" section and what will actually be delivered and when. It says 7,500 by 2033, but not what they are, and what type of person would be employed.

    Remember, if infratil could push 6mm passengers through with 100 employees, they would, and this is what they will always be striving to do.