Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Think of your worst departure lounge nightmare now double it

Till yesterday, my worst departure lounge experience, was @ Gatwick an 8 hour delay on a flight to Majorca topped off by resort accommodation with mismatched twin beds resulting in myself and Mrs. Me sleeping at different altitudes, the resort staffed by Mancunians with fixed grins like Jack Nicholson playing the joker, who prefaced every conversation with a robotic and moronic "Hi Ya".

Admittedly I wasn't planning to go anywhere yesterday, but as you can imagine I was curious to hear KIACC comments concerning Manston Airport being given to Thanet District Council's Airport working party at the Airport, particularly after some of the more hysterical reporting on local blogs ECR & SMUG etc.

Any how having read the agenda on TDC's website it was pretty clear from the outset that this meeting would be a fairly quiet affair, and would not be needing any input from excitable members of the public, although a couple did try, that said the chairman of TDC's working group thanked those members of the public who turned up for showing an interest in democracy.

Now I'm not entirely sure just who KIACC is, but the acronym is pronounced like kayak the Eskimo canoe and not surprisingly the members of this committee all seemed to have their own paddle, as they all represented various parts of East Kent.

The evidence being given to TDC's Airport working group, soon had a soporific effect as terms, some of which I understood and some I didn't, wafted over my head like CAA, notams QC 4, naturally my mind wandered, I felt sorry for a couple of journalists, who despite taking acres of notes, I know will struggle to find a story to justify 2 hours of their lives lost forever.

It was surreal, sitting in a Airport departure lounge with the gate blocked by not one but two committees, and something I've never seen before two clerks taking notes on flip charts (like some game show assistants) as if anyone's ever likely to challenge their accounts of the meeting or care, I also began to question whether in better times I'd sat in the same room waiting to fly out from the planet Thanet to somewhere different.

As you can imagine much of the meeting was taken up with obsessions and trivia, the reporting systems not working, some flights divert over the garden shed, some of those giving evidence were clearly experienced complainers and all the time I’m thinking, if you live at the end of a runway, what do you expect.Acol Metropolis The first hour and half was taken up with gripes although I did myself, learn something and it is this, Acol must be the most democratic place in the world, since despite only having a handfull of houses and a pub, they own a parish council because one of the members of KIACC is I understand a member of parish council.

Anyway the thing that concerns most of us here in Thanet is the local economy and jobs and no surprise after an hour & half, they finally got round to what matters, looking around at the members I had the strong impression that Thanet’s low wage economy was something, most of this crowd were blissfully unaware.

Just prior to the meeting turning its attention to the local economy, I noticed the activity beyond the departure lounge, the Tarmac burst in to life to accommodate the arrival of a cargo jet and I thought those people working outside probably had more to contribute to the discussion than anyone inside.

Its just the way things are but life seems to be run by people who have 9-5 existences, ignorant that there’s a whole world of people, delivering goods, maintaining roads, caring in hospitals, maintaining the law, and building railways etc whilst they sleep.

I’ve been mean to those that populate our local committees and political institutions but its true that someone has to monitor life and legislate but with the way things are for Manston and Infratil and Thanet I wish someone would give them five or ten years without trying to regulate, them so that they can build a business to regulate.

Finally its was no shock that nobody for this KIACC group had any suggestion that would make life easier for Infratil.

PS an earlier version of this posting contained some draft notes and squiggles apologies to my reader if you read anything er worse than usual!


  1. Tony, the 6 people working outside I am sure had something to say - give me a better paid job with more sociable hours in a less dirty industry, maybe.

    Inside, I counted at least 14 people either paid for by the council or on expenses. This is for a request that has not yet been made by the operators. I would rather my director of regeneration busied himself regenerating the approach to Thanet, which still points visitors to a 2 years closed dreamland. Something that actually does something for the area.

    Hopefully you were listening when kiacc were highlighting the disregard for rules laid out by the council by infratil when they took over- flight paths, training flights etc, and the general feeling of mistrust by kiacc and working party chair Harrison of infratil.

    As for letting them get on with it- would you allow a railway to be built without the proper safety guidelines being followed?

  2. Nice post Mr Flaig. Manston should have been a regioanl airport years ago. Nimby power?

  3. Am just wondering why you normally write so much rubbish when you can actually produce something positive like this.

    25% of kids in Thanet have no experience of a working parent in the home. Killer fact.

    The parents may not become cargo handlers or air traffic controllers, but the trickle down will affect them positively in the medium term, and the kids will at last have the chance of a real job without having to travel half way across the county.

  4. smeggers the 6 working outside, was more like a dozen and now you proport to know the minds of the staff working there - if they wanted a better paid job, they would leave and get one, if they wanted more sociable hours they leave, if they wanted a less dirty industry they would leave.
    You really are a tosser aren't you!
    Not one good word for anyone that works hard trying to earn a living.
    Just your own twisted view of life in that anyone associated with the airport is not worth the ground you tread.

  5. Smug I listened, what I heard was gripes, boring technical detail and nothing to encourage business.

    Your comment "I didn't see your "I Love Matt Clarke" t-shirt tonight, but I know you own one." is indicative of how you think I'm afraid as is the fact you twice walked past and didn't have the life skills to acknowledge me, your choice of course.

    Thanks Jeremy

    Not through choice I mainly work nights and weekends, since the alternative is starving, still I would appreciate a day time ban on driving outside my house.

  6. maybe gents, maybe.

    Stl- you have no idea on what these guys want.. So don't comment on what you don't understand

    Tony- if I'd known you wanted a bear, I would have given you one. As you call me smug, i'd like you to explain what you mean. I wear a suit. Does that hit a nerve?

  7. actually snobbers i do, because i know a few of them.
    Don't comment on what you don't understand!

  8. smeggers how come hardly anyone comments on your blogs? Maybe it's because you are getting ZZzzzzz BORING!!

  9. Smug Marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction

    Since you ask, I honestly don't want to pursue puerile argument, if you don't like airports move somewhere else end of and give us a break on multiple identities.

  10. Chaps, here to stay, and will oppose the airport as it contradicts any sane persons vision of Thanet in the future.

    It's not going to have any success or make a profit.
    It cannot be expanded alongside thanet earth and china gate
    The airport owners are a bad neighbour to all in Thanet, and described as untrustworthy by kiacc
    It will cast a cloud over huge parts of each Kent, rendering herne bay, ramsgate, st nicks, as places devoid of migrants, investment, business.

    Support this dying business and you are supporting the past.

  11. Tony, you really are the voice (and face) of the lumpen proletariat.

    No wonder most of it went over your head.

  12. Anon you are impressing nobody with your ridiculous use of the dictionary...
    Lumpenproletariat (a German word meaning "raggedy proletariat") is a term first defined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in The German Ideology (1845) and later elaborated on in works by Marx. In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1852), Marx refers to the lumpenproletariat as the 'refuse of all classes,' including 'swindlers, confidence tricksters, brothel-keepers, rag-and-bone merchants, beggars, and other flotsam of society.

  13. Pretty rich calling someone else smug, Tony, when your writing exudes all the excessive complacency and self-satisfaction you say are requirements for such an epithet.

    BTW, it took me almost five hours to get from London to Thanet on the roads yesterday. KIA the fifth London airport? My arse. I could have got on a train and been in the south of France in that time.

  14. Anon 11:13, think how much quicker it would've been if you could've flown from London to Manston! We need more flights to other UK destinations, that's where Manston's future should be heading.

  15. Ijust find it strange how much employment surrounds Gatwick and Heathrow and people here are against the airport incase it brings in jobs I expect its incase they have to work night shifts like you Tony

  16. Smug your a one trip pony as a consequence your comments are nothing if not tedious.

    Your main assertion ought to govern your brain, Manston is doomed, well if that's your argument, why not give your brain a rest, stop wasting electrons by sending repetitive and redundant comments to all and sundry.

    Assuming you don't understand smug I'll allow you the last word

    Thank you to Don, Peter, Jeremy and stop the loonies and good luck to those who work at the airport or invest.

  17. Tony, Don, STL and the incredibly tragic figure of Jeremy 'Please call me for work' Jacobs.

    You just can't craft any defence of your collective/individual positions can you?

    Tony, politically you seem to be neither Arthur or Martha.

    Don, you've let slip in the past few days that the airport is really just an exercise in nostalgia (we woz called out in the night to unloadzzzzzz.....)

    STL, you may as well carry on because at least you are genuinely
    funny. You could be my butler if it all goes T.U. at Manston.

    Jeremy, was Alan Partridge based on you? I ask, not because you're funny, just...a little misguided and so very, very needy, unaware and desperate to make new friends.

    Bless! Do you do children's parties?

  18. STL - Anon here.

    Unlike you, the phrase 'lumpen proletariat' is one that has been part of my general vocabulary for decades. Unlike you, I didn't have to look it up this morning. Ain't educashun a great fing?

    More to the point, you seem to have just outed yourself as the alter-ego of none other than Tony Flaig!

    Multiple identities after all you've said? Very, very funny.

    Which Flaig will you be flying next?

  19. Nye Bevin? Nah.

    Walter Mitty? Yeh. We like that.


  20. ""You could be my butler if it all goes T.U. at Manston""
    Ooooooh do I get to wear them fancy duds or would you have me running around in a little pinny??
    I work for beer!!

  21. Anon: STL here...
    Are you for real?
    Me thinks you and me move in difrent curcles me old fruit.
    Talkin ov fruit, dont spose fancy an afternoon in the stocks wiv me ole mate smeggers?
    We could whip the crowd into a frenzy, specully them geezers from wamsgate tawn centre that hang out down da pubz and piss in the street cos they is hard.

  22. STL - Anon here.

    Would you really wear a pinny?

    Resign now and come to my door!

    (rubs palms of hands ferociously up and down thighs)

  23. I like you style -

    We'll agree not to talk about airports unless I ask you to take off your pinny and put on an 'Apron' (see, I can do airport humour as well)

    You'll faint when you see the size of my windsock!

  24. KIA Manston is the best and most civilised airport in the world and will remain so until it is used by millions of travelers.
    There is no comparison between KIA and the madhouses at LGW or any terminal at LHR....... and bring back EUJet.
    Yes I do live under the flight path as well.