Saturday, 12 September 2009

Kent International Airport Night Flights and the Margate colour bar

The arguments over airport expansion seem to have split into two main arguments one being night flights and the other all of the rest.

I have made no secret of the fact that my main concerns over airport expansion relate to the water drainage and pollution issues. I believe that securing a safe and sustainable future for our water supply and agriculture see far overrides any noise considerations, I am not saying that the noise isn’t an issue, we are all pretty blurry today after being woken at 3am by noisy drunks arguing outside. I don’t know if to blame the crazy national government that introduced 24 hour drinking or the crazy local government that suddenly let the takeaways here open to 4am without any local consultation for that one.

Back to the aircraft noise issue, as an historian I should say that the first reference I can find to this was before commercial flights started at Manston, back in 1958 when the American flying officers found the aircraft noise too trying to live with and elected to live on the north side of the island.

My understanding is that they lived Mostly in the Margate area and the U.S.A.F authorities operated a form of apartheid banning "coloured American" airmen from the Margate area.

They considered Ramsgate with the aircraft noise only suitable for “coloured Americans” who they obviously considered to be second-class citizens.

You may well think I have lost the plot here with a black American president and a black chairman of the Ramsgate Society, if so click on the link the link to read the newspaper article

The question begged here is, do our councillors and council officers consider the people of Ramsgate to be second-class citizens now?

There has been some debate over what it is that KIA are asking for, reading the documentation it would appear they would like an unspecified amount of night flights, I would appreciate it if anyone refuting this could show their references, here are mine.$AirportWorkingParty17September2009Draftconsultationpla.doc.htm$Annex1DraftConsultationPlan_v1.doc.htm$AirportWorkingParty17Septembnighttimeflyingpolicyappl.doc.htm$AirportWorkingPartyMinutes19May2009.doc.htm$19Aug09NighttimeflyingTDCNewsRelease_v1.doc.htm$AirportWorkingParty26August2009NightTimeFlying.doc.htm

Airport Working PartyThursday, 17th September, 2009 5.00 pm
As this information is published by our own dear council it neither tells us where the meeting is, who will be able to attend or if members of the public are allowed to speak.

I expect all of the usual contenders will be involved in both meetings and I expect a great deal of money will be expended however as the government have just announced that £16m was spent by them to find out that the Phoenix Four, had it away with £42 million this will be comparatively insignificant.

Picture from shows 109s at Manston.


  1. The term '24 hour drinking' was coined by the Daily Mail and is a grossly unfair and misleading descriptor. Licensing was handed to local government and restricted hours, introduced as a war effort measure, were taken away. This idea was empower local communities and allow the flexibility needed so licensing could better be tailored to individual areas and outlets.

    I think I'm right in saying that apart from the supermarkets, there was only ever one application for 24 hour licensing in Thanet. No idea if it was granted though.

  2. The No Night Flights meeting on Monday 14th is NOT open to all. It is by invitation only.

  3. anon 18.01 guess I aint welcome then

  4. Fascinating piece Michael - hope we are more tolerant these days - but yes i agree we in Ramsgate seem to be being treated as second-class citizens. If the takeaways are open to 4am it is a matter to bring to the next PACT (Police and Communities Together) meeting. The Costcutter lorries blocking the street at a very dangerous junction and goods all over the pavement making it difficult for pedestrians have also been mentioned.

  5. 18.10 Sorry my mistake I have removed it from the post.

  6. 17.36 Here in the town centre where we are on the front line of antisocial behaviour there was a marked difference when this legislation (whatever you like to call it) was introduced. The whole licensing department of TDC seems to be shrouded in secrecy so it isn’t possible to just look on their website and see what is licensed and to what time, as one can with other councils. Suffice to say that the town centres are now dominated by groups of rowdy drunks from about 8pm to 5am seven days a week.

    As a bit if a cynic I immediately think who benefits from the town centres being more unpleasant for ordinary people to be in, as this appears be the out of town leisure and shopping facilities, a wealthy and powerful lobby locally and nationally, I am immediately suspicious.

    I suppose you are referring to the 1914 defence of the real act, I should point out that licensing hours legislation was produced throughout the 1800s and early 1900s and this act was only a part of this.

    It really is a case of legislation from the 1736 gin act through the following period of about 250 years, that fitted with the British character and drinking habits and served to make our society tolerable being discarded for the profit of a minority.

    8.41 In terms of public safety and traffic I believe the most potentially dangerous problem in Ramsgate to be allowing traffic to mix with pedestrians in the pedestrian area, particularly on Sundays.

    With the licensing I believe the problem is that TDC licensing authority appears to act outside the realms of ordinary common sense, I don’t believe they consult either with the police or with local groups.

  7. Thanks for changing the bit about the night flights meeting. Didn't mean to sound bolshy, merely firm.

    If you were against the night flights Don you would be more than welcome but from what I have seen of your comments and postings you are not, so there really wouldn't be any point you coming along to a meeting to oppose them, would there?


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