Flight path proposals for Manston Airport – petition for ‘transparency’ and expected public consultation dates

Manston airport site

Concerns that flight path proposals for Manston Airport are not being shared widely enough have been raised by a Ramsgate Town Councillor – with site owners RSP responding to say public consultation will be taking place.

Cllr David Green is backing a campaign asking the Civil Aviation Authority for more openness on the flight path plans which are currently in a seven stage air space change process.

Airport land owners RiverOak Strategic Partners, who last month gained a Development Consent Order for the creation of a freight cargo hub at the site, began the process last year with focus group discussions on options for flight paths.

A second stage involved consultation with airspace users, air navigation service providers, local authorities and parish councils.

The results of this are now being prepared into a report. RSP say public consultation will be held at Stage 3 of the air space process.

Cllr Green says he has concerns over the transparency of consultations which have been invitation only so far.

He said: “The consultations I have been to have been sparsely attended by councillors and local representatives from East Kent. You have to ask if the relevant community representatives are being properly informed.”

He says maps from stage 2 of the consultation show an estimated 30 towns and villages which will be under the proposed new flight paths.

Cllr Green has written to all parish councils asking if they have been contacted regarding the new flight paths which will affect the towns and villages they represent. He said: “I will pass any information I receive on to the relevant bodies.”

RSP say the maps represent a number of options put forward to the focus groups which will eventually be refined. There will be public consultation at stage 3 of the CAA process and this is likely to take place at the end of the year/beginning of 2021.

Tony Freudmann of RSP

RSP director Tony Freudmann said the ‘optimum’ aims of the air space proposals are safety and noise and pollution control.

An RSP spokesperson added: ““The Civil Aviation Authority CAP 1616 process for airspace change is carried out in 7 stages, with 14 very precise steps – each of which takes many months to complete and only when each step is approved by the CAA can you proceed to the next one.

“We are working methodically through the process and we are currently at Step 2a. The level of public and stakeholder consultation is rightly both extensive and detailed, but is not carried out until step 3.

“Work is currently underway on Step 2A (Options Development). At this stage of the airspace change (CAP1616) process we are seeking feedback for our Design Options, from air navigation service providers at neighbouring airports, the wider aviation community and selected representatives of local communities such as members of local authorities, parish councils and MPs representing constituencies in the surrounding area to ensure any critical technical and operational interdependencies have been considered.

“When the Design Options are produced, based upon the Airspace Design Principles, a comprehensive public consultation will take place during Stage 3 as a key part of the airspace change process where we will take into account the wider views of residents, businesses, communities, the public and other stakeholders.”

The Civil Aviation Authority flight path process will look at areas including how many flights go over Ramsgate and how many go in the direction over St Nicholas-at-Wade. The final flight path decision will be made by the CAA

Aerodrome  certification will also need to be issued by the CAA which means approving all the ground operations, the operating manual, airfield safety, security and more.

RSP was granted a Development Consent Order by the government on July 9 to proceed with plans for a freight hub and associated aviation at the site.

The £300m project aims to create an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation. Plans for construction will be phased over 15 years and will include 19 freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage.

The DCO stipulates the operation of the airport is subject to a total annual cargo air transport movement limit of 17,170; a total annual passenger air transport movement limit of 9,298; and a total annual general aviation movement limit of 38,000.

At peak there will be five large aircraft movements per hour. The DCO prohibits night flights but a delayed arrival could happen within those restricted hours of 11pm to 6am.

Cllr Green says he is backing a petition by pressure group CARMA (Campaign Against the Reopening of Manston Airport) asking for more transparency on the flight paths. He is also among town councillors who last month voted to donate at least £5,000 of authority funds to a Judicial Review bid into the decision by the Secretary of State to grant the DCO.

The petition is at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/are-you-under-the-new-manston-flightpaths

Updates on the CAA process can be found at  https://rsp.co.uk/news/

Flight path design principles

Procedures must be designed to meet acceptable levels of fight safety

Design options must accord with the CAA’s published Airspace Modernisation Strategy (CAP 1711) and any current or future plans associated with it

Procedures should be designed to minimise the impact of noise below 7,000 feet

Where practicable, designs should seek to minimise the impact of noise on particularly sensitive areas

Designs should minimise the impact on other airspace users in the local area

Procedures should be designed that minimise aircraft emissions to reduce air pollution

Designs should make provision for multiple routes that can be used to spread the noise burden more equitably

Procedures should be designed to minimise the number of track miles flown


  1. Councillor Worzel Gummidge Green. Does not want to worry about flight paths he wants to worry more about where taxpayers money goes. Like £10,000 wasted on supporting his friend Jenny Dawes in her pathetic attempt to stop jobs and major investment in Thanet. Let’s get a petition up that we the undersigned have no confidence in Ramsgate Town Council or the Ramsgate Coastal Community team and call for them to be abolished by the Secretary of State.

    • I agree with everything you have said they should be abolished waste of taxpayers’ money not one of them fit for purpose don’t help the local community or the people that live here

    • Good idea, plus, the return of all monies used to fight this Judicial review, this money is not councillor Greens money, it is for Ramsgate.

      • Never mind Coronavirus, there seems to have been an outbreak of Pillockism in parts of Thanet, see above! My guess is all you people suffering from pillockism do not live in the CT11 postal area, so won’t be affected by low flying aircraft destroying the quality of your life, devaluing your property, and the tourist/hospitality industry at Ramsgate Harbour! At present the Crowd Funding for justice, to obtain a Judicial Review is running at a little over £3,000 a week, so there are many people out there who do not hold your ridiculous opinions about the reopening of Manston!

  2. Chinese proverb, “Give little man bit of power he thinks he big man. The little man think he boss of the many but many always bigger than little man so little man feels even more little than his hopes of feeling big.”

  3. Well said Bill.
    We`ve lived under the “previous” flight path for over 40 years, no problems at all.
    Let RSP now, at last, get on with it.
    And the Losers should have the good grace to accept they lost.

    • Yes but there were only a handful of flights back ‘in the day.’ There will be far, far more which will cause massive noise and pollution with no guarantees there won’t be night flights as those delayed will be permitted. Therefore no respite. Ramsgate relies on tourism. That will disappear as no one will want to visit with ancient planes flying low overhead screeching out noise and spewing spent aviation fuel everywhere. That will put 7900 tourism and hospitality jobs at risk. Worth it? I think not, plus there are the environmental issues- we must protect the planet or there won’t be one if we carry on as we are doing. I hope the Judicial Review succeeds assuming the Secretary of State responds to the protocol letter. He has until 1600 this Friday.

  4. A modern freight hub will bring thousands of jobs and millions of investment and hundreds more vehicles to help transport freight out. Why cant they see all this freight will be here, directly in Thanet, as a result of 5 large movements overhead per hour, it will be back to boom-time. And this silly repetitive argument about night flights, THEY WONT BE SCHEDULED (only chartered) so it wont count. Passenger flights will be great for us to walk to (once they add that bit to the license application, as it only covers cargo and night flights at present).
    Get a life and smell the fumes!…make Thanet great again!

    • Many people in Thanet don’t want jobs sadly , they’re happy on benefits , this could be the best thing to happen in Thanet in years , they’ll argue against it till the end , but if their JR gets chucked out , someone somewhere will pay enormous costs!

  5. Southampton airport has about 35,000 aircraft movements and 1.8 million passengers and employs 100 people with about another 1100 associated with the airport – it has been well established for many years

    East Midlands airport 77,000 movements and 4.8 million passengers and they say about 6,000 jobs with all the number of businesses that use a central hub (none of these will relocate to the corner of the country) – it has been well established for many years

    RSP seem to think they are going to be creating 6000 jobs in YEAR ONE with no passenger flights for several year (if at all) and take six years to get up to 10,000 movements

    They are waving these totally unrealistic proposals of creating 23,000 jobs just to try win public favour and too many people believe them. Manston employed 150 when it closed and will need to be more efficient than ever at a time that air travel is sacking people in huge numbers…..

    Airport fans please tell me how their promises can stack up? I’d love a well run working airport but RSP are just talking tripe !

  6. Egos, when Manston airport closed 150 staff were made redundant the closer effected another 435 indirectly = 585 effected. You are using incorrect figures to try and make a point that is based on false numbers. You can kid some, some of the time but with won’t kid me anytime.

    • On the contrary Bill, I think you’ve just proved that you can be kidded and RSP have sold you a complete pup. The 23,000 jobs are pie in the sky, it’s more than Heathrow and Gatwick combined at present. It’s idiocy to believe their figures, the Examining Authority saw straight through it and forgive me for thinking that they’re probably a little brighter than you.

      • But the whole thing is not about direct airport employment, its about the jobs created by the companies serving the airport and its activities along with companies that are attracted to potential an airport offers, then you have the bars and restaurants providing aditonal services to the employees of companies that establish themselves here etc etc.
        Thanet has no real employment , the area is going to be used by london boroughs to dump those on their housing lists they don’t want, so we can either add to the aleady disproportionate numbers that do nothing earn little and contribute even less or try and do something about it.
        We have the pro and antis when it comes to the airport and neither are going to change their views.

    • Bill
      So the fact that the experts have said manston is no go’er that doesnt matter !

      So manston has no decent roads
      So manston has no rail
      So manston has no fuel pipe
      So manston is in the wrong place
      So manston had no haulage company near by
      So manston doesnt have any big depots like Amazon near by

      I cant think of one reason why manston wont go bust again. Just the cost of bring in aviation fuel by tanker will price manston out.

      You pros are being taken for a ride

      Why would anyone fly into manston refuel at a more expensive rate than Gatwick, Midlands etc.
      Than have the goods sitting in traffic on the 2 lane M2.

      It really is a non starter

    • So no proper response then Bill?

      Southampton publicly state 1,200 job with 100 employed directly by them the rest indirect jobs after years of activity. RSP say 6,000 jobs in year one when it has barely opened rising to 23,000

      I know which numbers I trust for a small regional airport which Manston is never going to be any more than !

  7. Well done to Councillor Green for tirelessly wanting the best outcomes for Ramsgate and Thanet communities. I applaud your efforts against an almost constant shouty tide of sentimentality and misplaced belief that an airport will stop housing development coming to Thanet. It won’t.

    RSP continue to bluff and bluster their way to convincing us they know what they’re doing. 30,000 jobs on the last ‘consultation’ banner was admitted to be inaccurate but still people think a tsunami of quality kob opportunities are on the horizon. They are not.

    Meanwhile, others think nothing of shouting the constant bullying refrain to MOVE but does anyone spare a thought for Nethercourt, where planes are less than 300 feet? It is inconceivable an estate of so many would live literally on the end of what was, until very recent years, a military runway for national military purposes. Manston was never designed to be a hub of Costa Del Cheapo flights for Craig and his MAMA airline planes.

    This cargo hub is as absurd as it is insulting. It is nothing more than a handful of plane spotting obsessed MPs using Thanet as an easy option and Ramsgate as the sacrificial lamb.

    The inspectors decided it didn’t add up. They clearly agreed with the thousands of people who wrote in with their factual concerns.

    Just why are a handful of people so keen to see our harbour spattered with aviation fuel as a cargo plane screams into land every 12 minutes day and night?

    None of this adds up.

    All of this stinks.

    I’ve seen the desultory and secretive stage 1 and 2 consultation evidence so far that Tony claims to be so legitimate. Invitees were thin on the ground and recognised cgroups with a clear stake in impact on their communities were not invited.

    Is it any wonder someone needs to lift the lid on efforts so far? Efforts which appear to focus only on engaging with a virtue circle of vociferous supporters.

    Funny that.

    • I live on Nethercourt, but, I would stand in the way, of Jobs, for the young people of Thanet, they need hope, it is totally selfish Emmeline, you have had your life, let’s us think of the young people of Thanet, I am pretty sure it is illegal what Councillor Green has done, to use Council money, to fight a lost cause.

        • Because the majority of people that comment on here, are retired, you can see that by the length of there post, they are the only ones on this site that has time to write anti Manston stuff, it is an opportunity not to be missed, no Government money involved, I Just can’t believe the Selfishness of all the anti Manston commenters on here, give the young a chance, like we had.
          Let’s look at this logically, the Airport is due to be open, properly, around 2024, a lot of you anti’s, will be getting older, with that comes, all the ailments that old people suffer with, deafness, eye sight problem, unable to smell, probably arthritis, so with all these problems, you older people, won’t hear anything, won’t see anything, won’t be able smell anything, those with bad arthritis, will not be going out, so why are you all complaining.

          • What tosh. The usual insulting nonsense from airport supporters. You pro-airport people will be getting older too!

            What sort of kick do people people like Tripod get out of being so rude?

    • An excellent description by Emmeline of the shambles which has ensued since the beginning of this airport-resurrection scheme.

  8. Please everyone stop moaning and get on with life, we have helicopter flying right over the houses(can see pilot) thats how low as they come in to QEQM even at night but no one is bothered you just get used to it,after what this country has been through just thank your lucky stars you are still breathing as many aren’t

    • I have no issues with a well run airport by people that know what they are doing to bring prosperity to East Kent – what I have is no trust in anything that RSP and question their ulterior motive….

      Even the airport fan clubs say RSP they are the only ones giving it a go so need to give them a chance…. why they are the only ones interested if it is such a dead cert say a lot….

  9. the runway location was always going to be altered,the new runway may be significantly longer . Its not news.

    We knew we would have to wait for the consultation stage.

    Boris did not get his Boris island airport but as second best he will get his Boris isle airport.

    Politics will win !

  10. Maym Well said. What I find incredible with some of the other comments on here is they are talking unadulterated rubbish. The DCO has been granted and the airport will be reopening. No one has said they will employ 23,000 staff on day on.

    • Quote RSP:

      “Even in first year of operation almost 6,000 people will find employment as a result of Manston’s revival.

      Under RiverOak Strategic Partners’ plans to reopen Manston Airport, as an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation, more than 4,200 people would be employed directly at the airport site by its twentieth year of operation, with a further 26,000 jobs created in the wider economy.”

      They are adamant that they employ far people than any other well established airport from a base of nothing, impossible and totally false statements and you are still taken in by them !

  11. Bill
    May I ask you one simple question ?

    Who is manston going to refuel its planes at a competitive rate ?

    How is it going to undercut Gatwick or Midlands who are on the fuel grid. All manston fuel will have an extra charge of being brought in by tanker. How is that cheaper than being on the grid ?

    • Bill just help you with your maths a 747 burns 1 gallon per second and this is going to be brought in by HGV tankers. There well nose to tail of tankers all along the thanet way M2 etc

      • I really dont see how the HGV tankers loaded with aviation fuel are going to be able to refuel 5 planes or even 3 planes per hour.

  12. Consultation with residents will take place during stage three. In other words, residents will be consulted only after they’ve chiselled the flight paths into a tablet of stone.

  13. 3.—(1) No part of the authorised development is to be commenced until there has been
    submitted to and approved by the relevant planning authority in consultation with Kent County
    Council and Historic England

    Detailed design
    4.—(1) No part of the authorised development is to commence until details of the siting, design,
    external appearance, lighting, site access (including emergency access) and dimensions of any
    element of Work Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 20 contained in that part, which must
    accord with sub-paragraphs (2) and (3), have been submitted to and approved by the relevant
    planning authority in consultation with Kent County Council where relevant to its functions.

    Construction environmental management plan
    6.—(1) No part of the authorised development is to commence until a construction
    environmental management plan for that part, which must be substantially in accordance with the
    outline construction environmental management plan, has been submitted to, and approved in
    writing by, the relevant planning authority, following consultation with the relevant highway
    authority, the Environment Agency, Southern Water, Historic England, the Civil Aviation
    Authority and Natural England to the extent that it relates to matters relevant to their function

    Operation environmental management plan
    7.—(1) No part of the authorised development is to begin operation until an operation
    environmental management plan for that part has been submitted to, and approved in writing by,
    the relevant planning authority, following consultation with the relevant highway authority, the
    Environment Agency, Southern Water, Historic England, the Civil Aviation Authority and Natural
    England to the extent that it relates to matters relevant to their function.

    There are a lot of hoops for RSP to jump through yet. Not least Environment Agency enforcement of UN Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants like residue of firefighting foam PFOA

  14. I can understand people wanting to see the airport succeed, but I can’t understand why anyone in their right mind, would not want to see the flight paths which will be used published at the earliest opportunity so that residents who will be affected by the noise will know what it means for them. I can only assume that those trying to suppress this information are worried about how people will react. The number of people who have donated money to force a Judicial Review of this plan is already nearing one thousand. Many more may decide to follow suit if they find out that they’re under a flight path.

  15. Suggesting those of us who don’t want a giant cargo plane over our house at 500 feet every 12 minutes is to neglect the young and/or jobless of Thanet is preposterous.

    It is a tactic designed to silence our factual concerns by suggesting the unemployed of Thanet are waiting for the RSP philanthropist funders to employ them. And this is why the bust and bust and bust airport simply must open. What nonsense.

    This myth insults the huge efforts of our Isle colleges and enterprise partnerships.

    What next. Reopen the Kent coal mines?

    There are far better ways to regenerate and create jobs. Seems to me there is snobbishness about the growth of the leisure and tourism sector. Somehow automated cargo jobs are ‘better’ than retail or the creative industries.

    The facts remain. Manston doesn’t add up and many people who reject this monstrous plan are of working age.

    We are sick of the RSP unicorn disco.

  16. Cllr David Green said here that, “The consultations I have been to have been sparsely attended by councillors and local representatives from East Kent. You have to ask if the relevant community representatives are being properly informed.” With regards to the CAA “secrecy”- proper name Stakeholder Engagement – all councils, county, district and parish councils, as well as other relevant stakeholders, were invited. The full consultation will take place at Stage 3 of the CAP 1616 Process.
    The CAA process is separate to the DCO process, where every opportunity was given for opinions to be voiced.
    RiverOak asked TDC years ago if they could give a presentation about their plans to ALL councillors. They were turned down, even though TDC is the host council for Manston Airport!
    All councillors were invited to attend any or all of the RSP Consultations. Very few attended. Neither did most of them bother to go to the Examination sessions. RSP were extremely disappointed. Ask TDC’s Councillors, or CEO, Madeline Homer, or Monitoring Officer Tim Howes, why they didn’t go!
    The DCO has been granted and the decision won’t be changed, despite the Judicial Review raised by Ramsgate Town Council, funded by OUR public money by the way! RSP own the airport and WILL reopen it.

    • Just a couple of factual corrections, the JR is not being raised by Ramsgate Town Council, but by a Ramsgate resident. RTC is committed to donating £5k towards it, after a democratic vote of the council, the fund has already reached £57k of private donations. I have received email from Faversham Town Council and Swale Borough Council (where one of the options for “stacking” is located) claiming lack of consultation.

      • RTC have blind funded thus relinquishing democratic control and accountability for use of public funds.

        RTC acted without due diligence and only learn now that Kate Harrison, solicitor beneficiary of crowd funding, has prior Manston and Thanet environmental toxic hazard knowledge. From advising SONIK / STLP early 2018 in Stroke Unit issues? SONIK went on to instruct Leigh Day who concealed Thanet and Manston environmental hazards to health from High Court contrary to law. Sadly Leigh Day concealed these hazards, contrary to Common Law, from two QEQM maternity tragedy inquests. The Solicitor Regulation Authority is asked to investigate Leigh Day.

        Before RTC got lively with public funds South Thanet Labour Party should have conducted inquiry. And their cllrs account to RTC on public record. You should have called in Ms Dawes to explain exactly how Kate Harrison will obey High Court disclosure rules.

    • The airport will not be reopened if the judicial review finds that due process was not followed.
      Which is something that nobody can be in the know about yet.

    • You mean the DCO has been granted subject of stringent conditions.

      Pro and Anti are as bad as each other.

      Manston is a contaminated site and whatever use it is put to would require properly remediation and containment before development work starts.

      The duty of TDC is to ensure RSP either do a proper job or do no job at all. If this means RSP pockets aint deep enough ? Shouldn’t have bit off more than they can chew. If their pockets are deep enough good luck to them.

  17. Flight paths?
    Hmm. Let’s see.
    There’s one runway, and it’s fixed firmly in the ground.
    One end is just beyond the garden wall of homes in Nethercourt.
    It matters not where the holding patterns are. When aircraft take off or land, they will do one or the other over Ramsgate.
    If you would like to contribute towards the funding into a JR to see if the SoS’soverturning of the PI’s decision, you can contribute here.
    And contrary to what some have been saying, the only person who carries any liability should the JR fail is the person who put her name on the Application.

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