Friday, 6 February 2015

London International Airport Thanet the Four Runway Plan Covering Most of Thanet

I think the word has got out that here in Thanet the majority of people are very pro airport and as they would welcome a massive air cargo hub, when in most parts of the country the vast majority of residents would be against it and the associated air, noise pollution and road congestion.

Click on the map to enlarge it.

Anyway no nimbys in Thanet and so here is the plan submitted to the transport committee, this is the link to it on the UK Parliament website

I have also copied it below:


This Explanatory Memorandum is to be read with the information and boxes on the A3 drawing. The aviation, environmental and cost-effectiveness issues are all addressed in the Written Statement. This Manston Airport redevelopment plan has been prepared for:- (1) The House of Commons Transport Select Committee Hearings on 2 nd February 2015; (2) for Thanet District Council Local Plan Consultations; (3) to indicate possible government Safeguarding Directions and local temporary Planning Restrictions to cover much wider areas; and (4) potential Outline Planning Applications. Development Phases A to E are set out for main Runways 1 and 2 and future Runways 3 and 4.

Development Phase A:- Early reopening of the currently semi-disused London Manston Airport as Runway 1 (“Manston”) with direct access from the A299 Thanet Way and the new A256 Trunk Road and use of the small old Kent International Air Terminal, initially for single runway reopening, for proposed “River Oak” air freight services (whereby some 50 local jobs may result) and our client’s proposed Air Ferry services into Europe (with some 80 more local jobs generated). Neither of those air services require the nearby Minster Station or fast main line trains to London, nor new airport hotels, nor other satellite businesses generating employment. But budget passenger airlines and air charters at Manston could bring flight numbers up to some 20% of Gatwick’s single runway use and with Air Ferry and airfreight, some 300 jobs altogether could be at or near Manston Airport. For the passengers’ airport bus relays, Minster Station has eight coach platforms, but it needs step-free access and other minor improvements, for approval by South East trains. Airport express services from St.Pancras International (initially say 1 tph) can be reversed on the adjoining Dover branch line.

A surrounding access roads corridor of an improved B2050/A28 forms a natural planning boundary; between airport areas as such and ample land areas to the North-East; suitable for hotels and business uses and residential commuter development of Margate’s hinterland.

Development Phase B:- A new full-length Runway 2 (“Minster”) and Terminal 2 (with building commencing if possible within a year of reopening Runway 1) can be sited on the Monkton Marsh flood plain, with the sensitive air terminal buildings on piled foundations and columns at podium level together with circulation and parking beneath and even protected against “300 year” floods. Runway 2, Terminal 2 and Minster Station need a new east-west highway circuit (“Richborough Road” on the plan) from a new roundabout on the A256 and along the south side of the railway and then connected to an improved A253 to Monkton Roundabout on the A299 Thanet Way. Minster Station can be extended, for full on-airport use of twelve coach trains (up to 3tph) with reversing either at additional island platforms (to allow express trains to pass) and/or at restored Richborough Sidings, with new signals for train stabling and with a reversing platform between and as a possible “Richborough Parkway” terminus, adjacent to industrial and parking land areas. An essential feature of Phase B will be twin fully-ventilated box tunnels, for “airside” traffic between Terminals 1 and 2 and for air personnel and passengers’ shuttle services (provisional indication only). The existing Kerosene Jet Fuel depot services, which are now sited near houses at Cliffs End, would be closed and moved to a new depot site nearer Runway 2.

Development Phase C:- Major enhancement of Runway 1 (“Manston”) could be completed within four years of its initial restricted reopening; by building a new full-size modern Terminal 1 (soon after Runway 2 is up-and-running and with the old KIA air terminal kept for air staff use) again so as to equal the flight capacity of Gatwick’s single runway. The larger New Terminal 1 will require new road and rail access and a new twelve coach “Manston” on-airport station (up to 3tph) with crossplatform interchange to proposed new Thanet Orbital Metro services (3tphew). This requires a short strategic rail loop (partly on an old military railway route) linking-up the main railway lines to form a circuit around Thanet. All over the world, on-airport stations are profitable and these combined rail improvements should be self-financing, from the “fares box”. The Thanet Orbital Metro will be a bonus with a very short pay-back period.

Development Phase D:- Subject to demand, a shorter Runway 3 (“Monkton”) of say 1 km in length, would be for private planes and for RAF/FAA Reserve STOL use; with a nearby helipad and its own smaller Terminal 3; again with extended “airside” connections as before, to Terminals 1 and 2.

Development Phase E:- Subject to future demand, a potential full-length Runway 4 and Terminal 4 (“Reculver”) can be built on Wades Marsh if required, similarly to Runway 2 and Terminal 2 and over a culvert extension of the eastern branch of the River Wantsum. As before, any future new Terminal 4 can be built on piled foundations and at podium level on columns, well above the flood plain. Again, with extensions of twin airside connecting tunnels and with an adjoining future Reculver Station. The B2050 would branch-off, to extend further west to join the A299 Thanet Way.

January 2015    

I will add to this once I am sure the first bit has published OK

Ok I think I had better be as clear as I can on this one, most of main Thanet politicians are very supportive of having an airfreight hub at Manston, I hasten to add that this wouldn’t be what we had before which was a small regional airport that people could book flights from, go to business and holiday destinations.

The RiverOak plans are for an airfreight hub, the cpo would be for an airfreight hub and what most of the PPCs are supporting is an airfreight hub. I would say that at every level in the aviation business where normally building an airfreight hub the local residents are perceived as the main obstacle, here in Thanet the local residents are perceived as being in the vast majority for any sort of aviation activity at Manston.

Out of all the civil aviation activities it is the large freight planes (747 variants) that produce the most noise and air pollution and out of all the civil aviation activities it is a cargo hub that would produce the least amount of local employment per flight.  

Now frankly if you have a community where the vast majority of residents and the vast majority of local politicians are behind the most undesirable aspect of having an airport, then it must follow that those people would be very much in favour of the more desirable aspects of having an airport. Holiday destinations, light aircraft, air shows, flight training and much better business connections. 

Viewing these plans objectively the worst aspect is runway 1 where the intention is to fly large amounts of freight, with Ramsgate positioned at the incoming end at the runway and Herne Bay at the outward end.        


  1. I obviously haven't been paying attention - what nightmare scenario is this? What status does it have? Is it a serious proposal?

  2. Interesting thats plopped out for the Parliamentary hearing. Nevet heard of any of this before not even Manstongates acres of warehouses.

    Who are Coastal Airport and only 300 jobs for concreting over Thanet?

    What are the kerosene depots next to houses niw and the Kcc Parkway moved already?

  3. The Coastal Airports / Winbourne Martin French proposal before the select committee seems to move a lot more of the airport's negative aspects into Sir Roger Gales's Thanet North Constituency, rather than inflicting it mainly on Thanet South as was previously the case.

    I think it's fair to say that the airport is seen in Thanet (by both those for and against) as a Gale/Freudmann/Riveroak plan, with only luke warm support from TDC and Kent Conservatives backing the Discovery Park owners.

    Perhaps the old pirate's majority may not be quite as safe as he would hope come May?

  4. Anon 2.10, I think your suggestion in your second paragraph is perfectly fair and it would be revealing to know who was introduced to whom and in what order. It might give some clue why there has been such fervour in some quarters to try to promote this failed airport.

  5. 4 runways wow...Mr Gale spoils us. I will miss him after May....who would be the best replacement for him?

  6. Anon 2.31

    A partial answer as to who introduced who, according to this BBC News story from May 2014, is a gentleman by the name of Sanjeev Joshi who may have acted as an introducer for Riveroak early on:

  7. Try you may need to use the translate facility

  8. Michael, google translate has it's limitations, but is the gist of it that back in 2012 Tony Freudmann and Integral (Sanjeev Joshi's) company had an involvement in Lahr airport?

    I seem to recall that this was not the success that many hoped it could have been.

    On a unrelated Thanet local history topic, do you know why the road leading to the new Sainsburys is called Antolin Way?

  9. Thank you for the links, 2.46 and Michael. They are illuminating and worrying.

  10. My own feelings are that this is a new departure as it says that the RiverOak plans are integral to the whole concept, I think this is based on Thanet sending a very clear message to the aviation community that the local politicians and residents want anything here that is aviation related.

  11. Anonymous re Sanjeev Joshi. He was one of the directors of IntegEral Investments not Integral Investments which some might think he wished to be confused with. It is my suspicion that Mr Joshi, his former co-director Mr Soards together with Integeral's investor Mr Douglas Maggs might perhaps be the real investors behind the Riveroak bid and the original TF bid. Riveroak presenting a more acceptable face. On the 11th December I asked Mr Denardo to confirm or deny this and received no reply. I have recently entered into correspondence with a man happy to hide behind Parliamentary privilege to call people liars who also wont answer the question but implies threats of libel .

  12. Oh dear, it looks like a serious case of "be careful what you wish for". Imagine a future where TDC opens RiverOak with open arms and the CPO goes through (unlikely, I know, but bear with me). The RiverOak discover to their astonishment that their cargo hub with 40-50 jobs doesn't work. Alas and alack, let's go for the full 4 runway option! When you open the door to one real estate investor that has never run an airport, you don't know who they'll sell it on to.

  13. Matthew, 6.24

    Would that be the same Douglas Maggs who appears in this article in the Telegraph from 2012, or is he an entirely different individual?

  14. Yes that's the fine upstanding chap. He has a penchant for airports (google Wisley Airfield or Sandown Airfield and Maggs). It is his Mayfair address that TF chose to register the two Annax Companies at and was named as an investor in the Lahr fiasco in the judement of Snowden QC in the winding up proceedings of Integeral.

  15. David Mellor and fellow Tory Sir Roger appear to have had a good working relationship from soon after they both entered the House of Commons in 1982, here's a story from the Independent from 1992, Sir Roger, or Roger Gale as he was then, appears in the fourth paragraph...

  16. Well well well, it looks like all the people in the towns that weren't going to be as affected by the stupid idea of having a cargo airport might be now wishing they had been a little more sympathetic to the huge blight that was going to make the lives of people in Ramsgate a nightmare.
    Lets hope they have the brains to tell TDC via the local plan that they want the rightful owners to create 1000s of jobs instead of 39 that RiverOak were going to create.
    I'll say this now that fears of a huge housing estate have been made up by SMA campaigners, If you don't believe me then look up what KKC leader Paul Carter said under oath to the select committee, here is the link
    Its about time people of Thanet saw Thanet as the beautiful place it really is and if we are going to have industry then it shouldn't be in places of beauty like on our coast or blighting our coast.

  17. Can someone please tell me where is the evidence that the majority of a Thanet residents want a massive cargo hub? Does this also include a clear majority in support of night flights. How can I have access to this information?

  18. Looks to me like someone had a spare drawing board a vivid imagination and lots of boring time on their hands to dream up this one Sir Roger G smugly said If they buy a house near an airport what do you expect, he can now change it to if you buy a house near airport Thanet what do you expect. No way are residents going to put up with a life blighting development on this scale.

  19. What an absolutely dreadful idea. I hope that all local residents who don't want an airport will now make their opinion known to our councillors. Or has April 1st come early this year? It's all very well being polite to people you don't agree with, but if it results in skewed perceptions of what the majority want then tact has gone too far.

  20. The Falcon Report which was commissioned by ThanetDC (and paid for by Thanet residents) stated that for any chance of success, there would need to be a huge Airport City, along with a huge manfuacturing plant to make it viable. It has been obvious foro some time that such a plan would decimate the whole of Thanet, and that is what people like Roger Gale has been wishing upon us. He does not live in Thanet, so it is not his problem. He was completely wrong and undemocratic to state that there is no opposition to the plans from the people in Thanet, as we have not been asked.

  21. Could Michael do a drawing with 10 runways? Perhaps the Tdc offices could be bulldozed

  22. Ann Gloag must be feeling the warm glow of Thanet's increasing affection for her.


  23. I kid you not. The Manston Hillbillies have got a prayer bus booked to circle the former airport next weekend!!!!!

    No disrespect but.......

  24. Perhaps because they finally understand that Manston as an airport hasn't got a prayer.

  25. Maybe they plan to operate Vickers aircraft ?


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