Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Manston Airport bought by Ann Gloag

Interesting one this, I believe Ann Gloag Scotland’s richest woman and by all accounts no fool.

My take on the recent commercial history of Manston is that Infratil who are now selling the airport, just didn’t understand the logistics of southern England and viewed Manston’s distance to London and the M25 as though it was in the antipodes, where distances and airport logistics are completely different.


Obviously while Manston was the ideal site for a first world war airbase due to it’s proximity to Europe and the limited range of early aircraft, it doesn’t make an obvious air transport hub.


Since Manson was opened up for civil operations in April 1959 it has a history of different firms failing to run it as a profitable concern. I think the key here has been the airport’s catchment are, mostly sea and there being two major hub airports too close.

So why an astute UK billionaire would buy Manston which is currently loss making to the tune of millions a year, begs some interesting questions.


Will the current boss stay?

Is this the first sage in an asset stripping strategy?

Will the airport now become much busier?

For me the main question though is: Now the airport is in the hands of someone who wants it rather than someone who is trying to get rid of it, will they do the work agreed with The Environment Agency to make it environmentally compliant?


Any one a bit lost on that front, here is the post I did when they pulled out of getting an EP (environmental permit) http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/kent-international-airport-at-manston_10.html

121 comments:

  1. Someone take a picture of William Epps post on Thanet Press Releases.

    If someone can explain to me why running a bus service 20 years ago means you can turn manston from a money eating to a money making machine I would be eternally grateful.

    perhaps she will use every last penny to pay operators to use it. Or maybe she will just concentrate on closing it down

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  2. Stagecoach Aircraft will now land in groups of three and will 'Loop the Loop' as they come in?
    Eddie Stobart seemed to do OK at Southend which is also a coastal location.

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  3. Tim,

    Your post above 3:17 pm.

    There is lttle point in explaining anything to the purblind such as you.

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  4. If you object to my post on Thanet Press Releases, 3:17, why did you not answer it there or would that have involved you having to identity yourself.

    If you read it properly my main point is that the airport is better in the hands of somebody who wants to do something with it than with an owner who wants rid of it. The new owner was instrumental in launching Stagecoach, a massive success, and like many entrepreneurs, knows how to make money out of businesses. Branson, for example, does music, planes, trains and just about everything he fancies successfully. Since this new owner is reckoned to be the richest person in Scotland I reckon we can safely say she has not bought the place to lose her wealth on.

    Let's return to Michael's post and his reasons why Manston is not a success as a civilian airport. As he points out, civilian aviation has been operating there since 1959, hardly a total failure. Some operators have failed along the years, but so did loads of others elsewhere from giants like Pan American to Laker Airlines without closing any airports in the process.

    It has water on three sides like big deal. I have been on successful airfields where the runway runs from seas edge to seas edge at each end. Overshoot and you have fishes for ground crew. What Manston does have is just about every major town in Kent within a thirty five miles radius.

    Then we have two major hub airports both served by the ever worsening M25, Britain's largest car park. How many people have missed flights because of M25 hold ups? How much easier, even from the Medway towns to nip down the M2 or even jump on the train once the Parkway is built.

    No, Manston will never be a major hub, but it could be a useful location for package holiday operators offering short haul flights to European destinations and UK internal domestic flights. This, however, is all conjecture for who knows what the new owner has in store and I do not presume to know that like you do 3:17.

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  5. If we could drive to Manston in a straight line much of Kent's population is a lot further than 35 miles away. All of West Kent, North Kent and most of the Medway town are more than 35 miles and a lot further in driving distance. That's why people from these areas will always choose London Airports and even Southend rather than Manston. Manston will never be able to provide the range of flights on offer elsewhere. The catchment area for Manston is limited to just a few Kent towns, unlike the other popular air ports that are surrounded by large towns on all four sides. As to Southend airport being surrounded by sea on two sides it benefits from being a lot closer to London and having faster journey times from, than Manston will ever be.

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    1. I've got 15,000 who say your wrong on that and the growing issue with the dartford tunnel and m25 makes manston a much more viable option with the hs1 works being started later on this year. Pulling the plug on this is just espionage.

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    2. Harsh I know but it's 15,000 idiots simply signing a petition. The business reality is that not only did they not fly from Manston neither could they as it would be a cargo airport. And it is bust now - yet again. 8:49 is absolutely correct and you are not.

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  6. Personally having traveled round that M25 carpark on a few occasions it makes sense for Manston to offer a service like KLM where you can change planes at Schipol. If any operator offers a service from Manston to Gatwick or Heathrow would be even handier would save the £100 to park the car

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  7. Stagecoach bus station at Westwood to close and the land to be sold off to anybody wishing to invest at Westwood. The bus station to move to Manston.

    You heard it here first

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  8. I agree William. What a fascinating move. If you read the site for Boris idea about an airport on Goodwin Sands they argue that an airport there would be the closest airport to substantial areas of Europe.

    , Goodwin Airport

    Very encouraging news re Manston.

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  9. It will be very interesting to see if there is much Ann can do. Will her investment capability be able to move Manston 20 miles closer to London, for example?

    Good to see Mr Epps has an equally bright mind endorsing his thinking. Someone to carry your bag to the board meetings William!

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    1. Some, following self interest agendas, may snigger and find objections, but the fact remains that we simply have no idea what the new owner has in mind for Manston. I hope, for the sake of the 150 people already working there, that their jobs continue and that maybe this will lead to more. We certainly need them in Thanet.

      As one who once lived in Eltham, south east London, regularly commuted round the M25 to Walton on Thames and also regularly visited Broadstairs, let's correct some of these misconceptions or deliberate falsehoods being expounded here. The M25 can be a beast involving hours of hold ups on its bad days and nobody knows when they are going to be. Bad enough when trying to get to work, but disastrous when trying to catch a plane. I always had to leave two hours to get to work, and that was a bit short of Heathrow, yet I could make Broadstairs comfortably in one hour fifteen minutes. Who was it said that people from the Medway towns would go for Heathrow or Gatwick first choice if Manston offered an alternative for their holiday flight?

      Anyway, it all remains to be seen and I am sure the new owner will prioritise business sense over the whims and fancies of any of us.

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    2. I have mentioned the Felixstowe v London dock commercial battle before.

      And time to bring in Michael's education thread.

      Throw a stick into the sea at an angle from you. Then watch your clever labrador. It will run a distance along the beach and then launch into the sea to swim after the stick. It works out the most efficient combination of land and water travel. The shortest route would be a straight line. But the dog won't take the shortest route entirely by water it would take too long.

      Anon 10.13 think about clever labradors. I have just read your comment about twenty miles closer to the stick (She doesn't understand London as a concept) and she is still laughing. Her mate is a guide dog for the blind. Her human has a Braille pedometer. "How come", he asked "When you are guiding me I take more steps but have a shorter journey time"

      The guide dog replied "It is all down to fewer pawses".

      They rolled about laughing. They only tolerate us because we have opposing thumbs.

      Very sad type of organism that has to be taught calculus.






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    3. Actually 1:11 it was ME who brought that up before, not you!

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    4. It was me... I did it because I found that it is my brother who is a consultant for Felixstowe. Nonetheless if you would care to expand on the thought that if you move Manston twenty miles closer to London then you move it twenty miles further from Folkestone. Park n ride thoughts. Blah blah and wish the new owner the best of good commercial fortune.

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    5. How weird, my dad is the Felixtowe consultant and he told me! Hello uncle!

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    6. I once knew a bloke who was with the RAF Regiment in Felixstowe so small world, what!

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    7. If you could add an "s", where appropriate, and drop the Chatham House style exclamation marks 1.56.

      I assume that you didn't know the RAF "Bloke" in a biblical sense, even though he apparently deserves another exclamation mark from you.



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    8. You didn't know RAF Regiment blokes in a biblical sense back then, least ways not if you wanted to live.

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    9. Rick at 6:26 pm, w3hy do you always leave a big space at the end of your comments and what is your obsession with Chatham House punctuation. You very obviously did not go there so don't let it worry you!!!!!






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    10. William Earps the reason you could travel from Eltham to Broadstairs easily is because of the lack of traffic.When the Golf was here last year and the airshow returned to Manston the roads simply ground to a halt. The numbers visiting on both occasions are what visits Gatwick and Heathrow every day and by and large they dont fare that well with 4 lanes of motorway direct to the airports. Not a dual carriageway and dual lane so called motorway (M2) from Gillingham to Manston, The new owner will massively increase the freight by diverting it from Heathrow allowing it to increase passenger travel.

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  10. Michael, is your painting supposed to be airport CEO, Buchanan, or would be but no hope Green MP, Garbutt. The hair is Buchanan but the face and jowls could well be Garbutt.

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  11. I missed my KLM flight today and have to wait 24 hours until the next one, First there was an accident on the M2 and you wont believe it there was then one on the Thanet Way. I think I will stick to the M25 and Gatwick next time

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    1. Serious debate is impossible with so many trolls like, 5:37, about. Why not try some constructive arguments instead of muddying the waters with stupid remarks. There was no accident on the Thanet Way today and only a minor one on the M2 which caused no hold up.

      I suppose you think you are clever when pompous smartarse would be a more apt description.

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    2. Tim, your post at 5:37 - You are lying.

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  12. I love the naivety of William Epps: " We simply don't know what the new owner plans for Manston." Really? So, Infratil were free to sell it to whoever they wished? No, of course they weren't. They were restricted because TDC and KCC stipulate that it has to remain an airport. So, although numerous developers would have paid more than £1 for it, they were deterred from making an offer because they knew that they wouldn't be welcomed. I myself would have upped the offer to £2 just to close it down. So, the future is very simple really. The new owners have to run it as an airport and so, they will try to get whatever business they can to make it profitable. And we know what kinds of business are available - the ones that are not made welcome at the other airports due to their more stringent environmental controls, e.g. night-flights and freighters. So anyone with a bit of grey matter knows exactly what to expect and it isn't pretty.

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    1. Your ignorance surpasses my naivety, Manstonphobe. The agreement to purchase includes an undertaking to pay Infratil's running costs between the date of the deal and completion, anticipated in November, which will amount to several hundred thousand pounds thus making your £2 offer a nonsense.

      Not so long ago you were heralding the fact that Infratil were prepared to look at other usage, but now, according to you, TDC and KCC have put a restriction on it to airfield only. Just where do you get your information. It is an airfield and any other use would require planning which may not be forthcoming. That said, if it does not work as an airfield sooner or later another use would have to be considered, for no one is going to run the place for the love of it.

      When I said, no one knows what plans the new owner has, I meant just that. We do not know and there may be a long term consideration for other use for all we know. Perhaps it will become more like Biggin Hill or Rochester, which are more private aircraft and flying schools than commercial. I do not know and neither do you. You are simply scaremongering as usual with your night flights and lax environmental controls.

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    2. William if he had bought it for £2 on a change of operational use the VAT fraud bill would have come as a bit of a shock.

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    3. Agreed, 6:30, not to mention the redundancy costs of laying off 150 staff when he closed it.

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    4. You can hardly complete a purchase involving honouring staff obligations and then declare yourself bankrupt, dickhead at 8:07, and expect to get away with it. In any event how honourable is that for an aspiring MP.

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  13. What are you talking about? There is no VAT fraud. If you buy it for £2 you buy it for £2. You don't pay VAT on the sale of a "going concern." As for the small change I would need to pay redundancies blah blah blah, I wouldn't have a problem with any of that considering the millions I would make in a year or two. And a change of use isn't a problem. Take a look around Thanet. Since when did a developer with the right contacts have any problem getting permission for anything?

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  14. hmm the paranoia re Manston is nearly as rabid about the paranoia about crane filled waves crashing down on Ramsgate seafront.

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  15. Paranoia about sums it up, John, although the objections stem from mainly one person who is evidently gutted. For years he has been telling us how Manston is broke, a dead duck that no one would buy, and now it suddenly has a real buyer with business acumen.

    The poor sap is beside himself with grief trying to come up with anything he can to put a downer on the news. William is right that it is too early to tell what the new owner might do, but the Manston nimby-in-chief cannot wait in case it does involve a success story with planes passing over his house every few minutes.

    Just read through the thread of his comments and split your sides laughing at the inconsistencies. The guy is a well known local joke both as an aspiring politician and business executive.

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  16. maybe instead of talking do something positive for the community

    http://www.beacouncillor.org.uk/couldibe/skills.htm

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  17. What have the skills of a councillor got to do with a discussion about the sale of Manston, 8:56. The discussion is happening now, but the next chance to run for the council, unexpected by-elections excluded, will not come until 2015.

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  18. Tim,

    You're having a great time, ranting incomprehensibly about Manston, irritating and insulting others in the process. While all the time exciting yourself with onanistic pleasure as you imagine yourself at the centre of attention. OK, Tim, enjoy yourself. But give me a break once you're done.

    You frequently insult others by accusing them of having a mental illness. Can you explain this Tim?

    [In the unlikely event that you are not Tim then Tim and the anon should email me and tell me all about it]

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    1. Quick note for players of JH blog bingo. Sell "anonymouse" and replace with "onanistic"; buy "bullshit"; hold "ocutard"

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  19. (1) I'm not Tim, and (2) I wish to remain anonymous. So I will not be emailing you. Now please shut up.

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    1. Tell you what, the one who is not Tim, if you shut up with your silly comments then the rest of us will totally ignore you and you can be as anonymous as you like.

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  20. Could we get back on subject please? If the Manston supporters do believe Ann Gloag can make a fist of Manston where infratil, plane station couldn't, perhaps they would be so kind as to suggest how. Just because she wants the airport, doesn't magically make it commercially viable. Some investment perhaps, but in what? How are the missing freighters and passenger jets going to now rock up?

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    1. I'm Not Tim (today), you have already told us several times that Manston is a dead duck so what is left to debate.

      Elsewhere others have suggested a wait and see approach and, frankly, that about sums it up as we have no idea. Suffice that someone with business acumen and a good track record has seen fit to take on the place, presumably has some plan. For all we know it could be Disneyland, Thanet though don't hold your breath on that one.

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  21. I'm certainly not TimOctober 17, 2013 12:47 pm

    New low cost transatlantic service announced from Gatwick today. Why not Manston?

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  22. The Last Person I Would Want to be is TimOctober 17, 2013 12:49 pm

    Good point that, why not Manston.

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  23. Is it true that the then owners in1988 signed a 125 yr agreement whereby the MOD picks up the maintenance costs for the runway, control tower and fire and safety? Reported to be worth £3 millions a year and thus making the operating of the airport very much dependent the tax payer.

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  24. In 1988 it was still an RAF station owned by the MOD. Civil operators used it under licence with the permission of MOD at that time so there were no owners. Another attempt at rumour mongering.

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  25. I love the Manston Subject it brings out all the loony comments. I read somewhere on here that there are currently 150 people working there if that is right it is an improvement from the half a dozen that worked there a few years back. All we want is employment in the area and all the naysayers and doom monger merchants forget this is peoples family's and lives we are on about. And as for noise I have lived under the flight path and bought up kids there it never affected them or myself so you cannot swing the lead on that with me. I want Manston to be come a thriving concern and wish the new owners the very best of luck.

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    1. Well said Don. The catchment for Manston is broadly similar to Southend, and transport promises to be a lot better with the possibility of a rail link. It does make me laugh that people who moved next to an airfield with one of the longest, widest and best equipped runways in the country, are then dumbfounded when planes have the temerity to actually land there!

      Once again, when it is allowed to go forward on a business requirement footing, not constantly fighting with the usual suspects who oppose any and all development anywhere in Kent or Thanet, and having to deal with the usual collection of pedantic irrelevant minutia, it will thrive!

      Just keep in mind the Turner Centre and the naysayers, same names all over again, yet the Turner is a huge success :)

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    2. JH- "Southend catchment area similar" either you haven't been to Essex or you have no idea where thanet is.

      Turner is a great comparison. It is funded by the taxpayer, its free to use. I'm assuming if manston had the same model it would be a huge success!

      This rail link everyone talks about is already there. Assuming everyone in thanet using manston would drive there, who is the rail link for? Londoners? When they already have 6 airports with a huge choice of destinations nearer, cheaper and quicker to get to?

      14th longest runway in the country. I've never understood why a wide runway is a good selling point unless you've got crap pilots.

      Good try though JH. Only 4 nonsensical points in that comment. You are improving!

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    3. Oh dear, sadly it seems reality has eluded you 9:14.

      I think you should maybe travel North of the Thames sometime, or perhaps even SE London, you could learn a great deal ;)

      Turner is a fantastic example. Naysayers such as you predict doom and gloom, yet it's a huge success driving the regeneration of part of Margate, that when it's joined by the Tesco's at the Arlington Slum, will power the re growth of Margate. I am happy to see you accept that the Turner has been a huge success, and that that success could be recreated at Manston.

      Everyone not in Thanet ;) Easy one that. People in South London who don;t want to mess about going to central London to change trains to get to Heathrow, or Gatwick, and the journey to Luton, Stanstead or Southend from Kent/S London are simply so appalling that nobody with any kind of sense would even consider it.

      Do crap pilots land across the runway? Yep 14th longest, more than capable of accomadating the largest current passenger/cargo jets, with few exceptions.Another positive that you agree with.

      Seems I have succeeded where you have clearly failed 9:14, just as Manston will succeed when allowed to run on a proper business footing.

      Well done 9:14, you made 0 cogent points, you're improving ;)

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    4. Again 9:14 you try but fail miserable to down another's valid point. The 30 mile catchment area of Southend and Manston is almost identical in numbers of people. The driving time from South East London to Manston is less than round the M25 to Heathrow although it is an irrelevance really. The point about a sizeable runway is that the airport owners are not faced with the costs of extending it should types of aircraft requirements change, but, more importantly, it is there so why not use it.

      You are sounding more desperate with each succeeding comment and Hamilton makes a lot more sense than you. Also the Turner bit is valid, because the NIMBY fraternity claimed it would fail and it hasn't. It has also helped to revitalise Margate old town and harbour area, a success story apparent for all to see.

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    5. Hamilton replying as an anon to your own post is really scraping the barrell

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    6. Well I agree with John Hamilton on this one, 12:19, so he is not alone. You meantime get increasingly desperate.

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  26. Don, if the airport was thriving the noise would be unbearable, not an annoyance when it happens in the early hours or daytime training flights.

    Its funny, 150 people work there. Never heard that before this week. To get 2 return flights in and out, plus a freighter maybe once a day. No wonder its not profitable!

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    1. One hundred and fifty was the number given at the last KIACC meeting. When you think about it, there are fire crews in two watches, air traffic controllers, refuelling workers, aircraft maintenance fitters, baggage & cargo handling, drivers, airport terminal check in staff and security personnel. For 5:09, there are also private aircraft, helicopters, flying school air movements and the odd military aircraft in addition to the KLM and cargo flights. Eat your heart out for its going to get busier.

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  27. 150 staff. If you paid them £10,000 each per year that would give you a wage bill of £1.5million. I imagine they get paid a bit more than that. Start adding in the bills for maintenance (e.g. mowing the grass, repairing the runway..), add in the bills for lighting, the massive amount they must be paying in business rates, insurances - pretty substantial sums for an airport etc. etc. I can't see how you're looking at running costs of less than £5 million. As I recall it was more than that when the MoD owned it. So how many flights do you need to cover this sort of outlay? Well, you won't get more than a couple of hundred quid every time a plane comes in. If you had ten departures a day, 3650 a year, that wouldn't even bring in £1 million. So, by my estimates, you would need 50-100 flights a day to make any money at all.
    It's all very well blathering on with your blind optimism but let's see you put a few hard numbers on the table. How many flights a day does it need just to break even?

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    1. Keep trying 6:10, but it is not you or I running the airport. I guess the biggest plus Manston must have is that Tim Garbutt, Richard Eastcliff and Ian Driver are backing it to fail and with that kind of expertise against it, a bet on it succeeding must be worthwhile.

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    2. I don't think you'll find all the staff are paid by the airport 6:10, unless of course they employ all the pilots, drivers, mechanics, loaders, unloaders plane washers, refuelers, etc etc etc.

      That would seem to make Manston's future success a dead cert 6:59.

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  28. As I suspected. You can't deal with numbers.

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  29. There's two things that Thanetarians are good at: negativity and petty point-scoring... and there's plenty of both here!

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    1. Peter well said we do have an unusual amount of whingers her in Thanet and those who buy houses near airports seem to shout loudest.

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    2. Unfortunately, the so called whingers did not get their own way over Manston. It was allowed to operate and there are very few restrictions on what can and cannot be done there. Yet it has been an unmitigated failure and has failed to deliver even a fraction of the economic success that was promised by the blinkered pro-airport lobby. So, I wouldn't be focussing on the whingers. I would be focussing on the blind optimists who continue to blight Thanet's economic future by backing a horse which hasn't won since it was born.

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    3. Unfortunately, 5.07, it is not just Manston that the whiners have objected to but just about everything ever proposed for Thanet for years. The reality is that they are but a small, but very noisy, minority typified at the moment by the Arlington Tesco fiasco where most people in Margate want the store, but Louise Oldfield and cronies are engaging in litigation to try to prevent it.

      Looking at this Manston issue I see there are several supporters who are prepared to stand up and be counted by putting their names to their comments. Apart from Ian Driver, who usually has his own agenda anyway, all the detractors are anonymous and could easily be just one person.

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    4. Fortunately Ms Oldfield has been concentrating on far more useful things recently such as campaigning for more openess at TDC and organising various local clean-ups. Let's hope it stays that way.

      Changing the subject slightly, what are they building on Ramsgate seafront at the moment, towards the old "Neros" end? Also, I noticed that people were tidying up (sweeping, weeding) the grounds of the old Motor Museum when I cycled past there today, is something finally happening there?

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    5. 1.apartments Peter
      2. Yes lots on google for it

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    6. Peter the thing near the Nero’s site that looks like a concrete bunker relates to flood resistant foundations for the development there, a block of apartments turned down by the council, appealed to the planning inspectorate and passed by them, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop212/id4.htm

      My concern here relates to there not being enough space to maintain the Victorian arched viaduct behind it, although I didn’t put an objection in as the site has been derelict for so long I thought anything better than nothing.

      I had expected the ground floor construction for the Pleasurama development to be constructed in this way to protect against tidal surge storms.

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    7. http://kentishprojects.co.uk/beachretreat/index.html this is what is planned Peter

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    8. Ah, those famous tidal surge storms that have done SO much damage along Ramsgate seafront over the years.............

      Oh, wait.....

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    9. Thank you Michael and Barry; go away Spammy.

      They look great.

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  30. Well at least one negative voice seems to have gone quiet and stopped his BS rants. Now all we need is the blog to be removed by google blogger

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  31. Replies
    1. surely you misspelt Hamilton, should have been "winning"

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    2. When did Driver ever win anything, 12:20, apart from an election under false pretences in a safe Labour ward. He then lost as an independent as he will do as a Green candidate.

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  32. Rumour has it that several Manstonphobes are lying on the runway in one last desperate attempt to bring the airport to a halt. The grief amongst these nimbys is self evident as they scrape their empty barrel for reasons why the airport will fail, but, you sad lot, just because one owner failed does not mean another also will and the Luftwaffe are not going to help you out by bombing it all over again. If you bought a house under the flight path try to sue the estate agent for not telling you planes land on runways.

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  33. I don't think that we have to explain why the airport will fail. It has a long track record of failure. On the other hand, the pro-Manston campaigners are utterly discredited because they have repeatedly heralded a new dawn every time a new owner has bought the lemon. And here they go again with their blind optimism. If we want to debate the issue sensibly, one of the pro-airport brigade will need to explain the underlying rationale for their optimism. All of the arguments about Manston's potential can be discounted, because we've heard it all before and many people have tried and failed to cash in on this mythical potential. So, kindly explain why any operator would be more likely to use Manston now than they would have been last year or the year before.

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    1. Perhaps you can explain for us, 5:02, why Ann Gloag, a successful business woman has purchased the place then. According to one of the anonymous whiners she will not be allowed by KCC or TDC to use it for anything other than an airport. If that is true she must have some plan.

      On the other hand, if she is to asset strip and build on the land, why didn't previous owners do that and save their shareholders a fortune? The saving face bit does not wash because in the hard world of business it just does not happen.

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    2. Ann Gloag is indeed a successful businesswoman. She didn't get that way by being more stupid than the councils she has to deal with. KCC and TDC may well believe they can dictate that Manston will remain an airport, but they will find that they do not have the powers to do this. In my opinion, it will be allowed to limp along for another few years, starved of investment and visibly failing. The n the axe will fall and the arguments over its future will really start. Whilst the councillors are tearing each other to shreds, trying to blame each other for the failure, a plan for housing will come forward and, from that point on, the councils will be on the back foot and the developers will be dictating events. The owner of the site will make tens of millions, and that is worth waiting a few years for.

      What is required here is a council which can get ahead of the game and plan for the future. From the outset, successive councils have failed to include a contingency plan for Manston in the planning framework for the area. Presumably, this failure has been driven by fear that they would be accused of not backing the airport. But, this is stupid and irrational. If you are on the council it isn't your job to "back the airport." It's your job to ensure that there is a framework within which the airport can thrive without damaging the surrounding area. It's success or otherwise will be a matter for the owners. If it fails, you need to make sure that you have planned for that eventuality and that you have in place a plan for how to proceed.

      Again, it's only my opinion, but I think it was a colossal mistake to, once again, dictate that it has to remain as an airport. It remains to be seen whether this diktat was issued by TDC or whether it was imposed on the area by a cabal within KCC. Given the airport's long and undistinguished history, the councils should have let it be known that they were prepared to entertain alternative uses for the site, including an element of the housing that is required for the South-East and accommodation for the kinds of high-tech businesses which are a major source of prosperity elsewhere in the UK. I'm quite sure that this would have attracted interest from some significant developers and we would not now be facing another five wasted years.

      What can be done now? Well, the brave thing to do here would be to sit down with Ms. Gloag and put your miserable hand on the table. Press her to explain how she's planning to make the airport profitable and, if she waffles you'll know what the future holds. Then, as quickly as humanly possible, get in place a contingency plan for what would and would not be permissible in that area from a planning perspective.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Steve!

      Delete
    4. Another nice try, but where will the people living in all those houses work? Who actually says Manston must remain an airport? It is an airport, but it does not necessarily follow that a change of use application would fail. Look around Kent, Detling, Hawkinge , West Malling and a host of others were all once airfields. It is still all guesswork, but a regional airport still takes the intelligent money.

      Delete
    5. Who is Steve?

      Delete
    6. Steve Higgins, aka SMEG:

      http://stopmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.co.uk/

      http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Investigation-reveals-extent-noise-pollution/story-16152696-detail/story.html#axzz2iGzcW44w

      Delete
    7. Sounds like another one for your hit list, JH.

      Delete
    8. Thanks, 3:38, another of these wallies who bought a house close to an airport and then complains that planes use it. Bit like someone taking a baby back to the maternity unit because it wails and wakes people up.

      Delete
    9. Thanks anonymous 5:03. Sounds like you're one of those in-breds who yearns for the days when people lived next door to asbestos factories and died in their forties. It's sad (for you) but I predict that society won't be sending small boys back up chimneys and I predict that noise and pollution controls on airports are only going one way. However, all is not lost. If you love airports so much why don't you go and live next to one? There are some lovely big ones around London.

      Delete
    10. Actually, 7:46, I am a DFL so I have done my many years under the Heathrow flight path without it bothering me. Your predictions are also dangerously adrift because if all the NIMBYs get their way, there will be no fossil fuels, no aircraft, no cars and we will be back to wood burning to keep warm necessitating sweeping chimneys. People of your ilk will take us back to the pre-industrial revolution days, but an awful lot of people will have to die to bring the population back to level that those days could support.

      One does not have to love airports anymore than most do wind turbines, but they seem to be a necessity in our modern world. Instead of me moving back to London, and since you evidently have no time for the local in-breds, why do you not move to some remote island off all sea and air routes.

      Delete
    11. Is it really Steve Higgins? If not, can someone invite him to this thread? Would love to hear his opinions! ; )

      Delete
    12. Actually, now you come to mention it, where is that stop the loonies fella? Oh, whatsisname...........

      Delete
    13. He stopped them, or at least made them too embarassed to post under their own name(s).

      Delete
    14. I'll do you a deal 8:01. If the airport succeeds, I'll leave. If it fails, you go. Can I suggest January 1st 2015? If it's still limping along by then I'll leave the Isle.

      Delete
    15. How can we trust you to leave when we don't even know who you are?

      Delete
    16. Talking of embarassed loonies, he's suddenly made his blog private (it was viewable yesterday!):

      http://stopmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com/

      Delete
    17. ... Fortunately, it can still be seen here:

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:RFzczYnw8eMJ:stopmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

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  34. She will be able to use the land for other things though, as long as she operates it nominally as an airport and that maybe her motive. The market will decide, as it has done in the past, whether Manston fails and not the people who are perceives as being anti-Manston. What drivel some angry, shouty people come out with at times!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things are looking up... just as you lot will be doing a lot more soon! ; )

      Delete
    2. Manston is about to take off and so are the planes. What joy if only to witness the antis weeping in their teacups. What will poor old aquifer do? Even the chairman of the No To Night Flights group has welcomed the news and wishes the airport well. I'm with, Peter, start looking up and get out your plane spotter manuals - it could always replace whinging on blogs.

      Delete
    3. The in breds will multi task rather than give up their addiction to whinging. Watching for winged things to whinge about.

      Hammy's addiction (whinging about whingers) will be even more sustained.

      Happy Hammy.

      Meanwhile, according to Hammy addled logic, Ann in Scotland is aghast "I better change all my investment plans because Thanetians are whinging. Nimbys always dictate my business plans".

      Ann receives an email from a well known Thanet councillor "Will there be jobs created for locals ?"

      Ann replies, "What skills do they have ? What work ethic ?"

      You may conclude that investment decisions re Manston are in no way driven by the prospect of employing Thanet people.

      Delete
    4. This tendency by some incomers to refer to Thanet people as in-breds shows a rather poor knowledge of the area's history. Even if we discount the many different peoples from Romans through Vikings to Saxons that have settled here in the distant past, WWII saw a massive influx of troops, sailors and airman from all over the UK and beyond many of whom made Thanet home on demobilisation. My own father settled in Thanet after completing RAF service at Manston.

      After the war came the Americans, here for nearly a decade, then the visitors who fell in love with the place and bought homes here on retirement. Others in more recent times who moved here for the better choice of schools than many parts of London. To all of which we can now add many overseas immigrants and East Europeans. If Thanetians are in-bred they are a pretty good mixture in the product and how many people these days living in Thanet could claim to be pedigrees.

      What beats me with the likes of 11:47 is that, if he regards the locals as such in-bred, lazy and unskilled beings, why does he stay here. One thing is for sure and that is that most Thanet folk are a lot better mannered than he who can only insult his neighbours. Shame he does not have the courage to put a name to his insults.

      Delete
    5. Well said, William, but some of us know who he is even without a name. He is Tim Garbutt who has been spouting this garbage for years whilst pretending to be some big shot director of nothing.

      Bet he wont come out in his own name and deny this. Too gutless.

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    6. I still think it's Steve.

      Delete
    7. But surely Steve is a local so he would hardly call his own kind in-bred, leastways I heard someone say he is a local or maybe it was he is always in the local. Now I am really confused.

      Delete
    8. No, he's one of those people who moved from outside the area to buy a house near to an airport and then complained about the noise!

      Delete
    9. Same as Tim then. Buy cheap because it is near an airfield and then whinge about the planes. Sue the agent I say and call in the police. How dare they sell houses near airfields. Nobody lives anywhere near Heathrow (well maybe the Queen).

      Delete
    10. Oh dear. The TIBs are tearing themselves to shreds, trying to identify anonymous posters. However, their efforts are in vain. So many people in Thanet now believe that the airport is a dismal failure; it's the majority viewpoint at my dinner parties.

      Delete
    11. It is said that Thanet was the last part of England from which the Romans departed. Consequently, the people of this area were eating from lead platters long after the rest of the country had gone back to wood. This explains why there are so many idiots around here who cannot engage in rational debate.

      Delete
    12. You're obviously local too then 7:47, what part of Thanet are you from?

      Delete
    13. South Eastern Road, Ramsgate, of course.

      Delete
    14. Somebody just loves this TIBs label yet such folk are extremely rare and well out numbered by DFLs. Also loved the majority at my dinner parties bit. What a tosser, bet it is the same joker whose Advertising Company has no 'contact us' section on its website, no address and no phone number in the phone book or yellow pages.

      There is certainly no shortage of laughs round here.

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    15. How amusing that one anonymous accuses another anonymous of trying to find out who each anonymous is. Look at it this way, if you really were a prominent local aspiring politician and holder of multiple directorships whose name was being taking in vain, would you not protest about it?

      Similarly if you were the front man of a pressure group and you were being accused of always being in the pub imbibing the juice, would you not protest? Seems to me there is no need to speculate about the identity of a couple of anons for they condemn themselves by their own silence.

      Delete
    16. Or would they, whoever you think they are, just ignore you as a pointless old fart William? Tell us about your days as a top banker though...

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    17. Such a charmer, 11:01, but why should I tell you of my days in the banking world. How about you tell us about your directorships or other big business experience.

      Delete
  35. When the Anon filter on this blog is mainly just Epps and Holyer. To be fair at least no other Manston looneys have publicly stated there is no pollution at Manston. Anon 1:37 is the numpty of the day though claiming Manston is about to take off after being sold for a quid. Next they'll be insulting people for pointing out what a disaster Manston is.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Takes a looney to know a looney, 11:44. Aren't you supposed to be in Saigon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 11:44 was right. Insults by inbreds it is. Another Thanet blog crumbles into drivel rather than debate.

      There is no pollution nor cleanup at Manston?

      Delete
    2. Tim, When did you last engage in a debate. Your rants and diatribes do not qulaify as a debate other than in your peculiar imagination.

      Delete
    3. Peter,

      Grateful to know who is Steve Higgins and how can one identify him?

      Delete
    4. I've posted links to him on this very thread.

      Delete
  37. Evening all. A most entertaining read. I am coming down to the neighbourhood to look at property tomorrow a couple of which are on the flight path. We currently live in Twickenham which is just off the flight path (equivalent distance Broadstairs is off the Manston flight-path perhaps?) so well used to the noise and at about 4kms from runway threshold, I think roughly the same distance from Manston threshold to centre of Ramsgate?

    Anyway, eyes wide open. Could someone tell me the current number of flight movements per hour or day? And just for fun as you do all seem to enjoy a knock-about, what would you say is the altitude of the aircraft as they cross land at Ramsgate? Are wheels down or still being lowered?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anon 5:16 pm,

    Well said anon. You make a trenchant point. Flights are rare and mostly with gear up.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am an Aussie never been to Manston just putting in my 20 cents worth. Airports are notorious for not making money. The ultimate decision on its future rests entirely on Ann Gloag . If landing fees, shop rents, parking fees, bus departure fees and other revenues are not enough maybe it will be sold off as housing and industrial blocks to create jobs for those who will live there . A lot of the sniping and nastiness is pointless just have to wait and see what eventuates.

    ReplyDelete

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