A new Thanet blog already becoming affectionately known as SMEG has appeared, I have just added it to the recent posts on other blogs on the sidebar.
From my point of view the whole Manston Airport expansion business equates to driving up the motorway in car with a wheel about to fall off while the occupants argue about the car’s exhaust emissions.
Manston Airport is based around a wartime runway built on top of Thanet’s drinking water aquifer, something no sane person would consider for a peacetime commercial airport, at the moment there is a rather Heath Robinson procedure in place for dealing with a fuel spillage caused by an air accident on the grass part of the airfield. They have a digger standing by the idea being to dig out the contaminated soil and dump it on the runway before the aquifer is permanently damaged, this just wouldn’t work for a fuel spillage from the larger planes envisaged in the airport expansion plans.
At the moment East Kent has a serious water shortage problem and here in Thanet all of our agriculture including Thanet Earth is reliant on the aquifer, it just isn’t something we can afford to take risks with.
No I am not particularly keen on the idea of increased aircraft noise over Ramsgate, or all of the restrictions on other activities that there would have to be to make the airport safe.
Aspects of the airport expansions plan are just plain crazy, like the access road running through the factory buildings of the proposed China Gateway development.
Historically the main problem to the viability of Thanet becoming a transport hub has always been that it is at a geographical disadvantage compared to other places, by that I mean our catchment area is only to the west, hence a long list of failures and bankruptcies of travel operators here.