Council against night flights

Manston Airport Credit: Thanet District Council

Cabinet has confirmed its support for Manston Airport, but recommended that Thanet District Council should not support the introduction of scheduled night-time flying as outlined in the airport’s proposal document.

Members felt that the potential noise and environmental impacts, as well as strong public feeling against the airport’s proposals, meant it could not support scheduled night-time flying between 23.00 and 7.00.

Cabinet were considering the council’s draft consultation response to Manston Airport, which will now go to Full Council for final debate on Thursday 24 May.

As well as underestimating the potential negative impacts, Cabinet felt that the proposals overestimated the potential economic benefits, overstated the potential number of jobs and did not consider the detrimental impact of night time flying on Thanet’s recovering Tourism Industry.

Attention was also drawn to the World Health Organisation’s assessment of the impacts of disturbed sleep, to Article 8 of the Human Right’s Act and to the Habitats Regulations which would need the airport to address whether the proposed policy constitutes a ‘plan or project’.

The draft response on the proposed night-time flying policy has now been to the Airport Working Party and the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Here a number of amendments were made in relation to the World Health Organisation’s assessment of the impacts of disturbed sleep, deficiencies in the Quota Count System, the scope for the detrimental impact of night-time flying on Thanet’s Tourism Industry and the relevance of Section 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Cllr Clive Hart, Leader of Thanet District council, said: “Our public consultation clearly demonstrated that a large number of residents were against the introduction of night-time flying.

"Having considered the views of local people, the findings of our independent assessment and the proposals themselves, it is clear what our recommendation to Council had to be.

"We are however, fully supportive of the airport. Encouraging regeneration in Thanet and supporting local businesses is vital to the success of the area, but this can’t come at any cost.”