Dover and Thanet Green Parties(1) have made a submission to the Thanet District Council consultation on Night Flying proposed for Manston Airport. Tim Spurrier reports:
“The Dover and Thanet Green Parties are asking Thanet District Council to take note of our objection to night flights. We note firstly that Manston’s job forecasts have been shown to be absurdly exaggerated; which we condemn as deeply unhelpful to a rational discussion about the economic prospects of both the airport and the possibilities those prospects would or would not provide for the area. The fact is that Manston has lost both jobs and money and night flights will not help the Airport in the current economic climate.
“York Aviation’s prediction that by 2018 Manston will have created 2,070 direct jobs by handling 2,286,000 passengers a year - that's 1,104 jobs per million passengers – is four times higher than its sister airport at Prestwick. Are the airport’s owners – losing money on all their European airports at no small clip – really so committed to creating jobs in East Kent that they will employ four-times more workers than should reasonably be expected?
“Thanet and Dover Green Parties suggest it is time to start considering a Plan B for the airport site – one that could genuinely have a hope of creating the jobs the area so desperately needs. An all-weather leisure centre to compliment the re-development of Dreamland would be a good use for the site.
“Concerning the effects of night flights, the arguments against accepting increased noise at night are substantial. The World Health Organisation, offers a comprehensive list of the negative effects of excessive noise on people, including:
· Hearing impairment
· Perceived noisiness and annoyance
· Interference with communication and speech perception
· Sleep disturbance
· Effects during sleep such as on heart rate, finger pulse and respiration
· Cardiovascular effects
· Mental disorders
· Undermining task performance and productivity
· Deficits in reading acquisition amongst children
“These should provide enough reasons to ban night flights from Manston permanently.”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Tim Spurrier 01843 848496 - 07769 969691, or Steve Dawe, Kent Green Party Press Officer on 07747 036192 or 01732 355185. KENT GREEN NEWS, free monthly ezine, is available at www.kentgreenparty.org Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
1. 1. Both local branches of Kent Green Party.
3. 3. John Whitelegg – Aviation: the social, economic and environmental impact of flying (Ashden Trust, 2000). http://www.areco.org/air10.pdf