The Manston saga limps along, with Riveroak Strategic Partners (RSP) trying to convince everyone that they can jolt some life into the zombie airport.
RSP are applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to allow them to develop a 24/7 cargo airport at the old zombie airport at Manston, are halfway through their statutory consultation with us, the public. You may not have heard about it, and that tells a story in itself.
Despite being told by Thanet Council that they need to leaflet ALL of us who are under the flight path to let us know that the consultation is happening, RSP chose not to do so. Instead, RSP’s fans at the Save Manston Airport Association have been encouraging their members (many of whom don’t even live in East Kent, let alone near the flight path) to respond to the consultation saying that everyone here wants a huge cargo airport and planes flying over us.
As residents, and as the people who will be most affected by cargo planes flying over us day and night as well as tens of thousands of extra HGVs on our roads, we need to make sure that our voice is heard too. THE DEADLINE IS 23RD JULY.
You can help by responding to the consultation.
At www.rsp.co.uk/statutory-consultation you can see all of the consultation documents. You can fill in RSP’s online form or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org – whatever method you choose, we advise you to keep a copy of your comments. Surprisingly, some No Night Flights responses to last year’s consultation were, er, “lost” by RSP.
Please tell RSP what you think about 17,000 cargo flights a year (we used to have about 500 at the ‘old’ Manston so this will be a huge) and what you think about scheduled night flights. RSP’s representatives have made it clear to us in the consultation events that there will be night flights. If they get their cargo flight numbers, we calculate that there will be 12 to 20 on average a night*. You might also want to mention the added pollution; the impact on our tourism industry of cargo planes day and night; and the impact on residents’ health and our children’s’ ability to focus in school if they can’t get a night’s sleep.
We have distributed leaflets to key electoral wards along the flight path but we haven’t covered everyone who will be affected. If you would like to pop some leaflets through doors for us, could you please email us at email@example.com – we already have some volunteers out there, so you would not be alone.
You often ask us what practical help you can give. This is it. Tell RSP, in writing, that we don’t want their cargo planes over us. And tell them before 23rd July.
Any questions, you know where to find us.
*Here’s our calculation re. possible night flights:
The relevant evidence to take into account is this:
· 42% of cargo flights in Europe are night flights
· 58% of cargo flights at East Midlands are night flights
· 32% of cargo flights at Stansted are night flights. This understates the real position as Stansted is using a 2330 to 0600 definition of “night”.
It would be wholly reasonable therefore to assume that 40% to 50% of dedicated cargo flights at a re-opened Manston would be night flights, i.e. 12 to 20 flights on average every night if Manston were to achieve its stated aim of 10,000 to 17,000 cargo flights a year.