Monday, February 09, 2009

Manston "I'm all right jack"*

It seems to me the future of Manston Airport, is all about imagination, those in the Luddite camp, imagine that a few extra plane movements will forever blight and destroy the ambience of Thanet, those promoting it are optimistic feeling a few extra freight planes will create a wealth of new jobs.

For me is quite clear that Manston Airport should within the reason be allowed to operate, with as few constraints as is necessary, obviously Thanet council and the Airport operators appear to have been less than interested in monitoring those things that concern us all, that being the noise and level of pollution from the Airport.

I'm in a minority of local bloggers, since I don't blindly feel that Infratil have no right to operate their business. It seems opponents of the Airport, have an irrational fear of aeroplanes, citing the environmental impact that air transport has, forgetting the cars outside their houses and possibly the mid life crisis motorbike gathering dust in the shed.

If you take their arguments to the logical conclusion, assuming most opponents actually live in a similar world to me, by which I mean they are fully immersed in our consumer society, then their protests are purely selfish. The same people who object to reasonable operation of the Airport, have little clue or idea, of the impact the their lives, have on the rest of society.

Assuming these half baked environmentalists, were true to their beliefs, they would presumably eschew all aspects of modern life, for instance the supermarket, whose goods are delivered by large polluting lorries, often with fresh fruit and vegetables, flown in to other airports from halfway round the world. It wouldn't surprise me at all, if many of the protesters, are not themselves above average users of air transport, but then presumably, the people of West London don't matter.

As you know I don't talk bull, so that is why I feel it disingenuous, of those local protesters who live in the same consumer society as us but wish to sidestep the consequences of modern life.

If those who have such a down on Manston, were to adopt a lifestyle similar to that of Amish people I would have some empathy

Just to check the state of local opinion I checked out Peter Checksfield Survey and that of ECR both asking about flights from Manston Peter's was well infavour and ECR evens @11 ish today 9th of Feb.
ECR's Question above
Peter Checksfield Question below

*Reference I'm all right Jack Wikipedia


  1. By mid-life crisis motorbikes gathering dust in the shed I presume you mean Sandy Ezekiel, Simon Moores and the other Hells Angel Tories around here!

    I'd be careful what you say about bikers, Tony, given your last run-in with them.

  2. Eastcliffe I thought you were a bit of a biker yourself!

  3. I think most local people are for having an airport, they are just against aircraft using it. I am sure a happy medium can be reached.

  4. Too right Tone

    If they eat meat they should eat it with the fur on. No picking and choosing.

  5. I think you hit the nail on the head anon 01:18. Basically many people would like to see it being (dis)used the same way as the Dreamland site, the museums, the caves, the Lido, the Westcliff hall & many other places in Thanet that are being left to rot away.

  6. I wonder what teh average IQ of the people writing in this thread is. Quite unbelievably stupid.

  7. At least I can spell "the"...

  8. Come on ECR,I thought you were the proud owner of a vintage Norton!

    What most people miss is the part that the existence of Manston plays in defending Thanet from the creation of another town. It's an ideal housing target, like so many other airfields in the country that have gone the same way.

    I suspect that the great majority of Thanet residents would rather see an airport with its protective green belt than 10,000 new homes one day in the future?

    Or am I wrong?

  9. dr moores, I think you miss the point. An airport does not have a green belt, but a area you are not allowed to build on for the increased likelihood of a plane crashing on top of you.

    10,000 houses would not be great, and not something we'd support.

  10. Simon is right on the money with his comments.

  11. Tony,

    the same council that built a hoverport from coal mine slag. The hoverport which lasted 20 years only, now employs none, just leaks sulphorus slag into Pegwell

    The same council that killed Margate, promised saviour by modern art, the fart-arsed around for 10 years getting a spade in the ground at immense cost to the tax payer

    the same council that built a port too small for ferries from the 21st century, so when the current ferries using it are phased out by EU regs in a few years, becomes redundant

    the same council who has supported an "unsustainable business" at Manston (Infratils words, not mine) for the past 10 years when other more economically beneficial options could have been taken

  12. I feel quite nostalgic about the Hoverport as it happens, built on recycled slag from Kent's coal fields how resourceful and ingenius.

    I travelled to France in about 30 minutes, the beauty of Calais. Hoverloyd, SRN4, such convenience.

    What a tragedy, our transport options were actually better in the blooming 70's.

    No Concorde either, Christ its like were going back in time how sad.

    Not the most persuasive of arguments Mr SMEG

  13. OH SMEG Bringing up the hoverport, I seem to remember some nonsense about a rare type of algae at Pegwell Bay, apparently of special scientific interest to god knows who, along with disturbed worms I think or was that bait diggers I cannot quite recall.

    Also didn't all the houses facing the bay get double glazing free and gratis, just think of energy saving over the years bound to counteract the sulphurous slag.

  14. Well said Simon Moores...& the alternative to housing is industrial units, everyone take a look at these Then & Now pics of Ramsgate Airport & tell me which ones you prefer:

  15. "just think of energy saving over the years bound to counteract the sulphurous slag"
    That's either flippant or stupid, and in either case contributes nothing to the debate. Get serious if you want a serious debate. Personally I think the handful jobs created by Manston airport do very little to compensate for the disturbance caused, but if there were alternate flight paths created then fair enough.

  16. Speaking of jobs and the Hoverport, my first job, after leaving school was working on the Hovercraft. Not a pleasant experience for anyone without a cast-iron stomach but it gave me and many others a job. When the Hoverport died, so did the jobs!

    You can list a litany of council "Failures" but this includes many different administrations over many years. Few people really grasp what a council's remit actually is and from reading some of the comments here several readers remain bemused over the responsibilities of local government.

    Call the aircraft surroundings what you like, green or even purple. The facts of the matter is that the airport protects a huge swathe of Thanet from being paved over. Lose the airport and I'm prepared to bet that central Government will have a new eco-town growing on the same spot within a decade!

  17. Oh how different it would have been if the hoverport hadn't have closed. Dr Moores would still be a trolley dolly! Albeit a trolley dolly on a motorcycle. Er... don't know where I'm going with that.

    Yes, I do have an old throbber which I whip out and thrash every now and again, to brighten up all your Thanetian lives!

    As it has a straight through exhaust system (all perfectly legal) and registers over 100db, I was thinking of spending one Sunday riding around Westgate. I should be going past your house every, ooh, let me see, 9 minutes or so, Simon!

  18. I used to have a Norton Interpol II fitted with a Wankel Rotary Engine, as designed by Felix Wankel. Created plenty of throbbing between my leather clad legs.

  19. I have a number of investment properties in Ramsgate and would be happy to see Manston used much more. Far from detracting from the value of my properties I think a functioning and useful airport nearby will make Ramsgate more desirable and improve my investments. Houses round Heathrow fetch a premium don't they.

  20. Fair point that flyers often buy flown in goods and fly off on holiday. I have done this myself. But, at least with the short haul flights, I am sure many of us would take and road/rail/sea transport if aviation were not so heavily subsidised. As for the nude flights idea, err... it mightat least reduce the weight of the planes, a bit, possibly.