Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kent International Airport Drainage Discharge Consent

This Environmental Permit application consultation began today and closes on 15 September 2010.

The link below gives details about where you can view the application and where to send any comments that you may wish to make.

Additionally, an advert will be appearing in the Thanet Times this week to advertise the consultation period to a wider audience.


for anyone interested I have put the application up on the web at http://www.thanetonline.com/kia/id2.htm most of the interest is in the letter at the end.

I have put up odd documents about this before at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/drink/ and have had a glance at the latest consent.

100,000 litres seems to be an adequate interceptor to protect Pegwell Bay the largest planes flying to from Manston hold about 250,000 litres of fuel I seem to remember.

What does concern me though is the runoff onto the grass as this goes straight to our underground drinking water reservoir beneath.

Here are some of the plans http://www.thanetonline.com/kia/id4.htm that go with the text, there may be others to come the documents are not easy to unscramble and convert into something that opens in a conventional webpage.
There is rather a lot of information coming my way at the moment, I have decided the best thing I can do is just publish it as I get it, any help interpreting it would be gratefully appreciated
The picture is from the book that I publish Twilight of the Pistons see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/1997_twilight_of_pistons.htm


  1. Michael

    Could you tell us where the run off to grass features.

    I admit to only having time for a quick squint at the drawing link. But it seems OK to me at first glance now.

    Both storage tanks (including new proposal) are to be fed via interceptors which are adequate you say to take off the contaminants ? Then each tank relies on a pumping station to feed the drain from the storage tank.

    Other drain water gravity feeds direct to drainage ?

    Seems like a result to me.

  2. Retired I think we are mainly looking at Charlie and Delta Taxiways that drain onto grass here, there is a very small part of Alpha taxiway too, as you say it looks like a reasonable plan.

    What I have always been unhappy with though is the problem of a large fuel spillage on the grass part.

    You have to appreciate the unusual problem that I think is probably unique to Manston, which is that the pumping station addit runs along the course of the main runway putting it bang in the middle of the SPZ.

  3. Charlie and Delta are generally not used, only for occasional parking.

  4. Thanks Michael

    I will try to find time to take a better look.

    But am I right that the general operational drainage requirements, protecting the aquifer, are addressed by this plan ?

    But that the shortcoming, in your view, is that the plan is inadequate as a contingency protection against fuel spillage ?

  5. I don't think you'll find they will park too many Jumbos on the grass. There may be a potential problem with fuel spillage on grass in the event of a disaster, but that can happen anywhere. Crashes are not reserved for airports.

  6. Whilst protection of the aquifer is important, and safeguards against any likely accident is the main focus, I wonder if we should be discharging into the SSSI at Pegwell at all?

  7. 17.28 I think the key here is that they aren’t used for refuelling.

    Retired my main concern is fuel spillage caused by some sort of accident on any part of the airfield that doesn’t drain into the improved drainage system.

    7.40 the problem is that there are a lot more accidents in the immediate vicinity of airports, mainly because there are a lot more plane movements at airports, crashes are more common on landing and takeoff and aircraft experiencing problems are diverted to airports. This is a risk that will increase with planned airport expansion.

    I am not against airport expansion in a general sense although I do have concerns about living under the flight path, these are balanced against the area’s economic prosperity.

    The real rub here is our water supply, I had thought that the solution was to prepare ways of piping water in from elsewhere, but have been told that this isn’t a viable alternative and that the underground reservoir is essential.

    I see this essential underground reservoir as the main difference between Manston and other airports and the problems that it presents as something that needs addressing before airport expansion.

    Like many things there may be a solution, but until that solution is explained to me I am not convinced that investment in Manston is sensible.

    David having looked at the plans with my engineers hat on, they look like very good plans for protecting Pegwell from pollution caused by normal operation of the airport, I have asked all sorts of difficult questions about this and the answers I have had are sensible and satisfactory.

    This means that I would be very interested in your views on where the likelihood of contamination from the airport is.

    There are other problems associated with discharge into Pegwell Bay mainly due to a loophole that allowed KCC highways to tap into the airport drainage system and other drainage systems without proper interceptors. My understanding is that these problems are understood and efforts are being made to resolve them.

    In a general sense to all commentators here, while we have a chance to comment on this consent, any ideas that improve protection of both Pegwell Bay and our drinking water are very welcome.

  8. The drainage plan looks reasonable if the incident take place in the protected area, but the odds are about 50:50 of being off site ( 2km of ends of runway and 1km either side of centre line).


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