Sunday 22 January 2012

Olympic Night Flights at Manston

Apparently up to 44 aircraft between 10pm and 7am see

For some comparison Heathrow gets about 16 flights per night period, which is between 11.30pm - 6.00am

All the way down the line with the night flights issue it is the ratio between day flights and night flights that concers me. Heathrow for instance would have about 1,300 flights a day and all the associated jobs for their 16 night flights, we seem to get 168 day flights for our 44 night flights.

Make no mistake here this isn’t and anti airport or an anti night flights post, this is about ratio between economic benefit from nuisance and appears to set an unfortunate benchmark for the future.

Update the allowance is two arrivals and departures – that is four flights per hour - every hour between 11pm and 5am, six flights per hour between 5am and 8am and eight flights between 10pm and 11pm.


  1. Regarding your comparison between Manston and Heathrow : at Heathrow in 2012 there is a limit of around 16 flights bewteen 11.30pm-6am but between 10-11.30pm there is a lot of traffic (around 60 arrivals and departures) and it's at least as busy between 6-7am.

    And that's 365 days a year, every year; not 3-4 weeks a year, once every 60 years.

    I've lived on the flight path of both airports and I know which is quietest at night :-)

  2. Remind me again, which came first, the residents or the Airport ?

    You seem to have forgotten when Manston was home to a squadron of Tornado fighters which would be on scramble alert 24/7
    Only difference between then and now is there were no whingers at the end of the runway.
    It's really simple you know, if you dont like it MOVE!

  3. RAF protecting the country

    New Zealand registered company allowing in night fruit flights for profit (or losses)

    I was here before the private airport, and I don't want night flights which have absolutely no upside for me at all.

  4. 8:53 You certainly were not there before the RAF, who could be much noisier than civil aircraft. As for the profit bit, well surely that is what creates jobs and prosperity.

    People like you, along with the Green fraternity, would have us all living in caves and the only noise disturbance would be the groans of shivering in the cold or the screams when we are reduced to eating each other.

    In case you had not noticed it is the 21st century and the world has to support a lot more people than a few tribes living off the land.

  5. Tom Clarke,

    Here, here.

    I can remember the USAF Thunder Jets. Now that was noise.

    Manston has been an airfield since before the the First World War. Surely, anyone moving near to it must be aware of potential aircraft noise.

  6. Tom Clarke,

    I take your point about the Greens. However the Greens do not want to abolish the modern world. Instead they seek to control it.

    The Greens in Government will decide who flies and when and where. You will need their permission to fly. Similarly, they will decide whether or not you may have a car. They will control the means of production. Producing what they consider to be your needs and the price you are to pay for it. All of this whether you like it or not. Of course none of these restrictions will apply to those in their government. They are much too important for that. They will be free to do what they will.

    The Greens are Marxists. They come complete with a following of useful idiots.

    Their lonely MP Caroline something or other stated that she is green on the outside an red on the inside. Like all extreme left wing governments the Greens would take control and wreck the economy. Read your history books.

  7. If experience at other regional airports is anything to go by, 1million passengers per year equals 150 airport jobs.
    There will also be some non airport jobs but if Ramsgate becomes under the flight path you can say goodbye to tourists.

    Not exactly going to make a dent in the 5,000 unemployed in Thanet when many of the jobs will be for those living ouside the area.

  8. My guess here is that we have the old foot in mouth syndrome from both the council and the airport, which is essentially failing to tell us what they are up to, causing bad pr, bad feeling locally and damage to the local economy for no valid reason.

    I assume that when the time finally comes, the night flights will be fairly well regulated and it will possible to get a reasonable nights sleep in Ramsgate, however having weak communications – nothing tangible on their websites – all we have to go on is this rather vague newspaper article.

    The simple question here is, if you were booking a hotel in the southeast for the Olympics, with Ramsgate having faster rail connections to London now that say Whitstable, given the information available online, would you book a hotel in Ramsgate?

    My point of view here is one of a businessman hoping to derive some much needed extra income from the Olympics.

  9. Cynical perhaps, but why wait until now to announce these flights. It feels more like more like a last minute renting out a spare room when the golf is on at Sandwich.

  10. 6 months notice is not very last minute !!

    I'd expect most of the movements will be private jets that will barely be noticeable compared with road traffic...

  11. To anonymous at 10:48,

    I fear that you are introducing specious arguments in support of your cause.

    Your remark about aeroplanes and tourists: History disagrees with you. I lived here in the 50's when Ramsgate was packed every summer with holidaymakers. The screaming USAF Thunder Jets overhead did nothing to deter them. Geography also disagrees with you. Richmond and Windsor are both on the LHR flight path and they are not short of regular tourists.

  12. I knew there was an airport here when I moved and am happy to have one operating profitably during the day. I find it very curious that a night flight proposal shouldn't be challenged by people who want to protect their family's health, education and the existing local jobs tied in with tourism, because of what went on in the past in very different times and with very different objectives. There will be precious few jobs created at Manston as a result of allowing night flights as they already have the capacity to cope with the extra freight, and history certainly shows that passenger services cannot hack it as there simply isn't the catchment area. This appears to be backed up by the independent report compiled by Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd, which was submitted to the council last Thursday.

  13. Strangely enough, 10:48, when we had the USAF at Manston and Thunder jets screaming around low level all over the place we had no shortage of visitors. In those days we were a proper holiday resort.

    You are simply scaremongeering to suit your own argument.

    John Holyer, with you all the way on the Green Party who make Labour look like a bunch of right wing Tories. They are about preserving the planet, or at least the right to fly and drive around it, to a privileged few card carriers.

  14. What is confusing on this airport issue is the attitude of Thanet Labour, now running our district council.

    Whilst the anti and pro airport factions are at least constant in their stand, Thanet Labour are all over the place.

    At one time Mike Harrison on his Newington Blogspot was almost contemptuous of the anti-night flights movement, dismissing them under a heading 'Night Flight Hysteria.'

    Time moved on, votes in Ramsgate were to be had and suddenly Labour activists were opposed to night flights. Mike Harrison went over to the anti stance with his 'R.I.P. Manston' posting.

    Now, suddenly, with Thanet under Labour control, we learn there are to be night flights over the Olympics and our illustrious council seem to be sitting on the fence. The totally anti stance of election days is being watered down.

    Maybe they want the votes of both the pro and anti groups, meantime the airport will probably disappear anyway through lack of confidence in Thanet's political administration.

    Par for the course I suppose.

  15. I trust if these flights happen TDC will collect all dues conected therewith.

  16. You are too trusting for your own good, methinks!

  17. Surely not, TDC must chase after big business the same way they hound the parking overstayer or the council tax payer who has hit hard times.

  18. Manston was never 'home' to Tornados, or any RAF jets in fact.

  19. 2:55 Manston was home to USAF Thunder Jets, was used as a master diversion airfield by the RAF for years and welcomed a variety of jet aircraft including Nimrods on circuits and bumps training. Prior to the USAF arrival there were Meteors there for a time.

  20. 2.55 and 4.48 I have added some pictures of jets at Manston in the 60s to this post, hope that helps.

  21. Tom, John. Tell me how night flights will rescue Thanet. Forget all the waffle, just describe the cost benefit to East Kent. And Tom; as I've pointed out before, remember why we lost our majority.
    Oh, and you think Thunder jets were bad. I grew up under the flight path to Upper Heyford, which was a real Cold War front line airfield, unlike the make believe version here. Nuclear armed USAF F111s coming and going day and night.
    You're right about the Greens.

  22. 4:48.. as I said, no RAF jets were ever based, plenty of USAF ones based and other Air Forces have used the place ;-) I am fully aware of the history

  23. Tim, I have no idea how night flights will help, but I do believe any operator needs some flexibility on the issue to run a successful field. My worry is that with total negativity we will never find out what a good regional airport could do for the area.

    As to why we lost our majority, it may be that the failure of the Coalition to follow true Conservative policies has contributed. We are still in hock to the public sector unions whilst treating our uniformed services badly by comparison in the cuts scenario. Even today, armed forces personnel are to lose their London weighting allowance whilst MOD civvies keep theirs. With such polices we do not deserve to have a majority.

    With you on military jet noise for I was stationed at Scampton when it was home to three squadrons of Vulcan bombers. That was serious noise.

    As for our no RAF jets commentator, whilst agreeing that other then in the early post war era, no RAF jets have been based there, many have used its facilities on a regular basis. There were times when RAF jet movements would have been well in excess of modern day civilian traffic.

  24. Tom
    With you on the policy issues but we didn't help ourselves by giving Nethercourt away.
    Afraid I'm not convinced by the what is effectively a flogging a dead horse argument: I don't know how it will help but let's try anyway. If a big outfit like Flybe can't make a go of it - and admit categorically that night flight restrictions played no part in their decision - then what are we left with? Ryanair and Easyjet have both noted the distorted catchment area - surrounded by sea on three sides - so I struggle to see where the millions of passengers are going to come from. A strategic withdrawal seems a sensible option.

  25. Tim, Tom can I draw your attention to this 1958 newspaper article, which I think, encapsulates the attitude towards aircraft noise then. You will note that the white American airmen considered Ramsgate leisure to be only suitable for the “coloured” Americans because of the noise of their own aircraft.

    I would guess that the Conservative problems started when they totally lost Ramsgate, Pleasurama, maritime museum, Albion House, tourist information office, Westcliff Hall, well it’s a long list, but there reached a point where this exceeded reasonable explanation as coincidence and became perceived in the town as spite by the Conservative administration.

    I would say that the Conservatives now have a situation where they need to produce a deliverable plan that would generate some confidence among the people who would normally vote for them.

    Frankly at the last local elections the results of their period in power locally, most of which was during an economic boom, with masses of grant funding and the failures of the national Labour administration should have caused a considerable swing towards them.

    At the moment as a local businessman watching the local conservatives work with Ian Driver to deplete next summer’s tourism to divert the 0.1% of the budget away from local events, well I guess you see where I am coming from. You are asking me to vote for them so they can take money out of my pocket, or am I mistaken in some way?

  26. Michael, I am not asking you to vote for anyone and, in any event, have always found your sympathies left of centre anyway.

    I would admit to considerable disillusionment with poltiticians at all levels and probably only remain a Conservative voter on the lesser of evils principle. Always seems to me that Labour politicians are capable of much more damage in the long term, hence the perilous state of a nations finances today.

  27. Michael, I would add that the USAF division of Thanet for leisure purposes was based more on the fact that they considered Margate more upmarket than anything to do with aircraft noise. With American racial attritudes at that time, the more down market Ramsgate was where they directed their black airmen.

    As to their aircraft, being small jet fighters frequently exercising a low level, no part of Thanet was exempted from the noise. Indeed, the worst incident involving them was the crash in St. Peters High Street, hardly on what we regard today as the Manston flight path.

  28. Peter, back in the 1950's a Thunder Jet of the USAF crashed into the bank in St. Peters High Street killing the pilot and, I think, about three people on the ground.

    There is a memorial to those killed in St. Peters High Street so take a look some time. Sure Michael will have full details somewhere.

    Earlier, possibly just after WWII, a Mosquito aircraft crashed during a flying display at Manston again with casulties. Think it hit a coach.

  29. Tom I have been a floating voter all my voting life, I hope I have given politicians of all affiliations a hard time, Harold Macmillan was a family friend, when I was a child, he was the first politician I tackled, I apparently gave him a very hard time when he increased the tax on sweets. Worse that some pmq sessions he said, according to my father, so I suppose that could make me left of centre, the business over the sweets I mean.

    Tom Peter don’t forget Oscar Golf and Yankee Kilo, both of these planes left Manston in 1967 OG flew into a tree on arrival at Frankfurt killing everyone onboard and YK flew into a mountain I think, killing everyone onboard.

  30. Thanks Tom, I'll check it out. I must admit that I rarely go to St. Peters apart from the footpath from Margate to the church as there's not much there these days, though I suspect (like Garlinge) it was a very lively village 2 or 3 decades ago.

  31. Michael, I was confining crashes to those I know of on Thanet soil post war.

    With you on the sweets and currently I regularly write of my own dismay over defence cuts to our local MP. Too many differentials for my liking in the way uniformed personnel are being treated compared with the kid glove handling of the MOD civil service. I guess its because the soldiers have no union or right to strike which shows how despicable politicians are.