County Councillor Karen Constantine: The difficult topic of Manston

Cllr Karen Constantine

Whisper it… this column is solely focused on the difficult topic of Manston! I’m not sure if I should immediately don a tin helmet and duck for cover, but I’ve long thought there’s a need for a balanced piece. I’m trying to do that in this article, so please bear with me.

On Friday 22nd September we heard that the latest attempt at a Judicial Review failed – the 41 page response from Judge Mr Justice Dove concluded,  ‘6. For all of the reasons set out above I am not persuaded that either of the claimant’s grounds are made out in substance and therefore this application for judicial review must be dismissed.’

You’ll recall the ExA in 2019 essentially saying that the idea was a non-starter as ‘sufficient need wasn’t demonstrated’ and freight need could easily be absorbed by existing airports…here we are still debating it.

Cue uproar on both sides of this long standing and intense local debate. Happiness and pleasure from those who are pro airport. Dismay and disbelief from those who are opposed. It seems to me that there are very few locals in the middle. Views and opinions on both sides are strongly held and fiercely defended.

*Full disclosure. My long standing opposition is principally based on the negative impact on our health and our tourism offer. And of course the environmental impact is worrying. But more of that further on…

Understanding the pros

I do understand the ‘pros’! There’s no doubt that Thanet urgently needs economic regeneration to provide much needed employment. Decent steady jobs, with good pay, and work that provides training and development opportunities. An airport can provide these. Look at Gatwick or Heathrow, both employing thousands of people, from security staff, to baggage handlers to those working in airside concessions – who can resist a cheeky purchase of their favourite perfume or a cut price tipple?

It would be nice – in a purely fantasy sort of a way – to have a passenger airport on Manston. Flying to, say, Malaga, Paphos, Crete and other sunshine destinations. Would I use it? If I could convince myself to be less concerned about the climate emergency – you bet!

We’ve had repeated attempts at a passenger service from Manston haven’t we? This little corner of England, bordered by sea on three sides, simply doesn’t have a enough population to make a passenger airport financially viable. If you are traveling anywhere from the other side of Canterbury Gatwick is easy to get too. So If Manston is not financially viable then investors will not be found. Investors only invest for a return of their investment, not to provide me – or you – with a convenient gateway to the Med.

The current proposals don’t include any real detail on passenger flights but anticipate 1.4M people traveling by year 20 of operation. Allowing for the build out, Manston won’t start operations until ‘late 2027’ so probably 2028, there’s no clear indication of when passenger flights can be expected. Will there really be sufficient demand to make passenger flights viable when there never has been before? Given that we simply don’t have a large enough population base I think this is unlikely. Is it possible the inclusion of the promise of passenger flights (with no detail) is simply there to make the air cargo hub a tad more appealing?

For those people who flew from Manston in the past and enjoyed the time-saving simplicity of having a passenger airport on our doorstep – I get you. I was actually on one of the very last Amsterdam flights – it was great to rock up, park and fly. But it wasn’t viable and KLM quit after losing a great deal of money.

Manston is clearly being developed as a freight hub. I wouldn’t bet on any air passenger services.


The starting point for this business proposal and actually the biggest hurdle RSP now have to overcome is securing the necessary funding. Someone, somewhere is going to have to have very deep pockets to fund Manston. We’re looking at a price tag of half a billion, and it’s likely to grow. As they say in business, this project will have to demonstrate that it can wash its face! That it will provide a profitable return for the investors. I doubt there’ll be any deviation trying to factor in passenger flights unless and until that cast iron return is nailed down.

Many of those concerned about the flights over our heads, are deeply and sincerely worried about particulates, noise and disturbed sleep. Unlike other airports such as Gatwick, built at a time when the impact of pollution and noise wasn’t fully understood. We know now – these factors are killers.


The issue that bothers me most is this impact on health, it’s a huge downside. The health and well-being of Thanet’s population is extremely concerning – and has been pre Covid, NHS staff shortages, and industrial action. Thanet’s health bumps along in the bottom of many league tables and action is required to level up the health outcomes of our population.

A summary from 2019 concludes ‘the health of people in Thanet is generally worse than the England average. Thanet is one of the 20% most deprived districts/unitary authorities in England and about 24% (6,155) children live in low income families.’ It’s 44% and growing in Newington. ‘Life expectancy for both men and women is lower than the England average at 8.5 years lower for men and 10.2 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Thanet compared to the better areas.’ And of course this is much worse than compared to elsewhere in Kent, in-fact life expectancy is 23 years less for Thanet women compared to  women in Tunbridge Wells – from memory. Importantly ‘In Year 6, 20.4% of children are classified as obese.’ And ‘under 75 mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases [is] worse than the England average.’ Obesity is impacted and worsened by sleep disruptions as are cardiovascular conditions impacted by pollution.

In December ‘22 I put the following question to KCC full council.

COUNTY COUNCIL – Thursday 15th December 2022

Question by Ms Constantine to The Leader of the Council, Roger Gough

At the last meeting, I asked about future CO2 emissions from the planned Manston Air Freight Hub and how this related to KCC’s Net Zero activity. In addition to the climate impact, increases in emissions, air pollutants and noise from Manston and other largescale developments, and the related traffic increase in the Kent area, represent a risk to the long-term health of Kent residents, such as respiratory problems and other illnesses caused by sleep deprivation. As this Council has already committed, via its Strategic Statement, to work with partners to support the prevention of chronic respiratory disease, can the Leader of the Council please explain how air quality and other relevant health implications of large-scale developments like Manston are taken into account by KCC and partners on the Integrated Care System? In answering the question, can the Leader clarify as part of the Council’s commitment to ‘improving the health of Kent’s population and narrowing health inequalities’, what action is already being undertaken to address this issue?


Firstly, I can assure you that the Council is strongly committed to improving the health of Kent’s population and narrowing health inequalities. As a County Council we can only work within the responsibilities within the legislation that are set out for us. As an Upper Tier Local Authority, since April 2013 we have been responsible for improving the health of our local population and for public health services. The Secretary of State continues to have overall responsibility for improving health with national public health functions delegated to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and the UK Health Security Agency.

Specifically, with regards to Manston, in KCC’s response on the 21st July 2017 to the Preliminary Environmental Information Report we placed an expectation on River Oak Strategic Partners to conduct a participatory Health Impact Assessment (HIA) with local communities. Whilst undertaking a HIA is seen as good practice as part of major developments, it is not a requirement of the Aviation Policy Framework. In July 2018 the HIA was completed as part of the Environmental Statement. The then Kent Director of Public Health was consulted in November 2017 on this HIA and inputted into the HIA Scoping Statement. The HIA identified several impacts on health and wellbeing both positive and negative and included a number of mitigation measures for those health impacts plus further recommendations.

The health implications mentioned, would be considered by the Planning Inspectorate when they determine the proposal. Therefore, whilst we can be involved in the process and make comments, we are not the decision maker and cannot influence specific issues. I can assure you that we have been involved where we can, and we will continue to try to influence the Health Impacts of the proposal.

In addition to the above, the air quality impact of the airport’s road traffic on Kent’s highway network will be included as part of the development work for Kent County Council’s new Local Transport Plan. The new Local Transport Plan will consider traffic on the local road network from the reopened Manston Airport, along with other existing and planned developments. A public consultation on a draft new Local Transport Plan is being planned for next year. We will also ensure that we work with the airport operator and local transport providers to encourage greater uptake of sustainable travel options to the airport, including the use of the new Thanet Parkway Railway Station which is due to open next year.

I also thought it was important to mention that following the Secretary of State’s decision on 18th August 2022 to grant development consent for the reopening of Manston Airport to operate as a dedicated freight Facility, a Ramsgate resident, has applied for a Judicial review against this decision. The Court still has to decide whether to allow the appeal. It is for the courts to decide the outcome of this appeal and there is therefore nothing at the current time we can do to influence this decision. (Ends.)

Questions remain:

Will River Oak Strategic Partners now conduct a participatory Health Impact Assessment (HIA) with local communities?

What mitigation against air and road pollution in Thanet are contained in the Local Transport Plan?

Now the case has been heard, what actions can be expected by KCC to improve the health of Thanet’s population and to narrow our health inequalities?

Something must be done to look after all our health. I shall be putting these questions to Roger Gough Conservative leader at KCC, you can be assured!

That’s the health downside – what’s the upside? Well we can remove the upside of access to passenger flights… because it remains to be seen what, if any passenger flights there will be. But let’s assume profitability is an upside we can all benefit from. Let’s assume Manston air cargo hub is financially viable and will make money. Where does that profit go? Of course we don’t know, and can’t know, because of the commercial sensitivity, who the investors are prior to any deal being struck. So we can’t know who the investors and shareholders will be. But I bet my house (under the flight path) they won’t be living in, or spending money in Thanet.

That renders the benefit of Manston down to potential large scale employment. Can Thanet residents really expect to see the much needed employment opportunities? For certain there will be jobs during the build phase. How many of these temporary jobs in the build phase will go to locals? When I met with Tony Freudmann he was very vague about this and never provided the details he promised he would. I’ve drawn an inference from that broken promise. Post build and assuming full capacity of 21,000 ATMs per year is reached we’ll certainly see an enormous warehousing operation.

Traditionally an operation that provides large numbers of jobs, pickers and packers, logistics, contract managers etc. Warehousing is now an industry that will be hugely automated. Indeed it is already hugely automated. Investors will of course expect to see this degree of automation built into the business plan, as it offsets the costs of hiring and training ‘costly’ and sometimes ‘pesky’ human beings. Robots don’t take sick leave or have holidays! Robotisation boosts the bottom line – providing shareholders with higher profits. The most expensive part of any business is the headcount. I’m certain investors will want to see as few people employed as possible to maximise profit.

There will also be a negative impact leading to job losses in our tourism industry. So we may gain some local jobs… but we’ll certainly lose employment too…has that been calculated anywhere?

So far, no guaranteed passenger flights, no direct investment into Thanet, and in all likelihood precious few jobs. Some yes. But it’s certainly not an employment Klondike! Nor is it a quick fix for our flagging economy.

That leaves houses. This issue aggravates local people so much. It’s certainly true that Thanet has a desperate housing crisis. I notice Manston supporters stating that if Manston isn’t an airport then it’ll be housing. This isn’t correct – it’s not actually a binary decision.

It’s most definitely not – An airport or Housing

Central Government predict population growth and change. They then decide how much land local authorities have to provide so that a prescribed number of homes can be built. This is the same process right across the Country. Currently, precisely because Manston, which is after all a huge brown field site, cannot be used for housing means other land (better land in fact) has to be provided by TDC. So we’re getting the additional homes in any event. And as planning is ‘permissive’ – which means so long as planning regulations are adhered to developers will get planning permission. House building in Thanet will continue to be squeezed into small sites, greens wedges and our productive fields.

My perspective is that given the terrible impact on our health – particularly those under and near to the flight path, given that realistically this won’t bring a significant number of jobs – at some point in the future, and given the climate emergency, the proposition of Manston as an air cargo hub, it seems clear to me that the positives do not outweigh the negatives.

Last but not least, how do we hit our carbon target? My formal questions to KCC revealed a dearth of concern for Thanet by KCC.

COUNTY COUNCIL – Thursday 20 October 2022

Question by Karen Constantine to Susan Carey, Cabinet Member for Environment

‘On 18th August 2022, the Government granted permission for Manston Airport to be turned into an air freight hub, overturning a ruling made by the High Court last year which ordered the Department for Transport to reconsider its decision to grant permission for the works. As a result of this decision, an extra 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be released into the atmosphere every year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 420,000 UK residents. Additionally, it is anticipated that at least 12,000 air traffic movements will occur annually, which in turn will result in a phenomenal increase in road haulage traffic throughout Kent.

In light of this decision, can the Cabinet Member please explain what steps the Council is taking to ensure that we remain on track to deliver our net zero targets, taking account of the increased air traffic and the expected additional pressure on the surrounding road network?


Carbon emissions from airports are considered on a national basis by Government and in this context the Secretary of State considered that Manston airport’s future emissions would be neutral both nationally and for Kent as a whole.

Similarly, the impact of motorways and trunk roads is also considered nationally and with the focus on freight at a reopened Manston, we would expect much of the resulting road traffic to remain on the motorways and trunk roads. The impact of Manston directly on Kent County Council’s commitment to Net Zero is therefore the traffic and transport on our local roads. This includes the A299 Thanet Way which freight traffic would be expected to use to connect to the M2 for strategic road network connections to the rest of the country.

The carbon impact of the airport’s road traffic on Kent’s highway network will be included as part of the development work for Kent County Council’s new Local Transport Plan 5, which requires a quantitative carbon assessment. The new Local Transport Plan will therefore contain proposals to move us towards net-zero carbon and will take account of the traffic on the local road network from the reopened Manston Airport.’ (End)

I’m not reassured! In the submission to the courts the detail of carbon emissions was stated as follows. ‘The conclusions of the environmental statement were that by year 20 the proposed development would give rise to 730.1 KtCO2 per annum but that such emissions only represented 1.9% of the total UK aviation carbon allowance of 37.5 MtCO2 for 2050. Further mitigation was required in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the proposed development as a whole focusing on other areas of its operation. The overall conclusion of the environmental statement was that the effect of the greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed development on the climate was properly to be regarded as “not significant”.’

Ah I see! The carbon emissions in Thanet only represent 1.9% of the total U.K. aviation. I can’t think of another area where this is being allowed to happen. Where an area is essentially being blighted by huge (preventable) carbon emissions.

I cannot understand why this isn’t deemed significant? I note that ‘further mitigation is necessary.’  As my question to full council revealed, KCC are content to leave the matter of pollution, and its impact on our health to the Government. I wonder if this means in future should the mitigation be unsatisfactory will we need to resort to a JR to try to protect our health? I think it does.

In conclusion, I still maintain Thanet residents are being hung out to dry and our health will undoubtedly suffer, on the promise of a few flights abroad, and jobs which may never materialise in the number’s currently being promised.

Any comments posted will be welcome – provided they are provided with facts and evidence.


  1. “There will also be a negative impact leading to job losses in our tourism industry.”

    Strange, I could’ve swore that Ramsgate had plenty of thriving restaurants, pubs and shops when we had an airport… probably more than there is now.

    • Mrs Pink – you’re comparing apples with pears. Compare the ATMs please. In addition several businesses have told me they will leave the area… let’s not be deliberately blind to the downsides on such an important topic?

    • Ms Pink (AKA Peter Checksfield!) and others, I have repeatedly stated that my calculations were accepted by the Planning Inspectorate, that show that aircraft will fly in at 300 meters high over Ramsgate harbour in order to land at Manston. Additionally I witnessed this happening when Manston was used to train pilots landing and taking off, and aircraft flew over Ramsgate High Street without warning, at 250 to 200 meters high! The noise was horrifying, and people were screaming in terror when this happened! This will destroy the hospitality industry in the harbour, and town area which Karen didn’t mention! My guess is Wetherspoons will be badly effected, as will hotels, and eateries, who would want to sit out overlooking the sea, with dirty old cargo planes screaming overhead so low you can wave at the pilots! Then there is all the property under this flight path, which would be greatly devalued, would you buy a house with aircraft flying over it at 200 meters high? The 2 chocolate MP’s for Thanet are behind this, and they are selling out Ramsgate, in the hope it will win them some votes, don’t fool for it!

      • “… screaming in terror…”?😂😂😂
        Look at the photographs of the area before the R.A.F. stopped landing Hercules’ several times a day. Were there no tourists?😂😂😂

        • Harry get real! The RAF were not landing and taking off every day let alone every hour as is proposed if Manston re-opens! Stop trying to make excuses for this American Hedge Fund company, who own Manston, and who couldn’t give a damn about Ramsgate, and all those who live in the CT11 postal code area. Do you live under the flight path Harry, or even in the CT11 area who will be most affected!

          • If Manston opens, I’m moving to Ramsgate. After all, apparently most people will be leaving, so house prices should be really cheap!

  2. The case for a cargo hub is simply not there. Successive judges and ministers appear to rely solely on the Azimuth report. A document routinely failing to stand up to scrutiny and which its author confirms did not include the case for viability.

    We scratch our heads and wonder why anyone would enjoy a screaming dirty cargo plane coming in over Ramsgate at 700 feet every 15 minutes directly over our harbour and heritage zone and schools.

    Anti housing protectors seem to form the biggest supporting voices.

    Oh and our airline owning MP.

    Oh and the airplane owning former SoS for Transport.

    The facts, based on the evidence, confirm there is no benefit to Ramsgate.

    The facts, based on the evidence, confirm there is in fact detriment to Ramsgate. The ExA report says so.

    I’m astonished why a balanced view is attempted here Karen. Why is the Labour position not oppositional?

    Exactly who politically is standing up for the silent majority? Those of us horrified by this monstrous cargo hub plan driven by a failed aviator and backed up by a council determined to see houses go on the green belt instead, or occasionally studiously neutral under Rick.

    The vast majority of Ramsgate does not want this airport. So Karen, if you could ensure any bullying shrieks of ‘moooove’ are not included in your request for evidence based comments we’d all be grateful.

    Sadly it is though, what I’ll be doing. And many others, as we watch our recently resurgent economy and housing market go down the toilet in order to please a vocal minority.

    • Thanks Steve, opposition to an air cargo hub has been policy for some while. It’s highly emotive issue – I often write this column and thought I’d take an occasion to lay out the facts. You can see more of what I’ve had to say about an air cargo hub at Manston here. I’ve stood successfully on an anti platform.

  3. Could these same business people who intend leaving tell you if their premises will remain empty for long. ? are they leaving because of the airport or because they expected a quicker return on their investment and or are getting to retirement age.?

    17,000 plus new dwellings for Thanet by 2031 -7 years away. Will these same business close and leave when the population of Thanet increases or because potential customers will have no where to park or the smell of the car fumes or instead of them taking 30 minutes to get to their business premises it will take them twice if not three times longer.

    Will people move because of the planes or the constant drone of car vehicle engines and car fumes affecting their children or grandchildren health. Planes will stop at 23:00 hrs unless delays occur at their departure point or because of an emergency. Will cars stop traveling at 23:00hrs. No because many people will travel to or from their place of employment or business.

    Agreed we are all entitled to our own point of view. My personal view is that at least Manston Airport and the businesses it will attract will employ people many of them entering the school system. 17,000 dwellings take an average of 4 people per dwelling = 68,000 residents even if 50% are in gainful employment that is 34,000 jobs required on top of the ones at present available. Will your small business be able to employe these additional people. ?

  4. The first attempt by politicians to close the airstrip was in 1928, when the then Liberal Party made it a manifesto promise locally.
    I remember coming to look at houses in Thanet back in 1988. When a Hercules came in to land over my head as I was walking up Crescent Rd. in Ramsgate. It happened twice pretty much every day of the year. We had a working port then with booze cruises and Richborough belching out Oremulsion exhaust. That caused a respiratory condition that the G.P. called “Thanet Throat”. No shortage of tourists or al fresco eating either. A model village and Pleasurama.
    The airstrip’s outlasted all of it.😂

    • Harry you may or may not know a leading engineer carried out a report into the feasibility of Manston for civil aviation use shortly after the war, and I quote “that regular jet flights over Ramsgate would shake 18th and 19th century structures to pieces. The USAF heeded him by turning Sabre jets around to avoid the town.” This evidence was not permitted at recent enquiries! You may know of this internationally renowned expert, his name is Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb used by the Dam Busters! The operative word here is “regular” Four engines jets were not flown into and out of Manston regularly, and most of those used by the RAF were turbo prop, get your facts right Harry!

      • Which of my “facts” are “wrong”?
        None of them.
        You merely used my wholly truthful post as a fulcrum around which to slingshot into Outer Space with something that you wished to post anyway.
        Personally I’d quite like to see the whole site left to Nature. As the former hoverport has been. We have less tree cover than any other local authority area in Kent.
        I certainly don’t want to see anymore housebuilding here. There is little or no organic Demand or wealth with which to pay for them. The only human settlements which persist are those with a local resource and income to warrant them. Which is why Westwood is already dying, less than two decades after it was born.

  5. I worked in Commercial Due Diligence in the past at corporate level. So I did some research to study the viability of such airport in a non-judgemental way. I did not look at the environment or tourism aspects, purely at the commercial potential. The Azimuth report is flawed in many ways as it takes for granted a photographic image at instant t to build a forecast. That approach is of course totally erroneous. You can’t say a market will grow because there was growth from year A to year A+1, without taking into account the general trend over the years and other influential factors. And when I indeed looked at the trend, it was obvious that there was no sustained growth but a stable market for cargo movements with already a certain number of airports sharing it. So a major cargo hub is feasible if: a) there’s a real growth in the market, implying that the daytime only capacity of proposed movements will be largely insufficient and all night flights would be needed. Or b) there’s no real growth in the market and all other airports willingly surrender their share of the market. Is that going to happen? I doubt.
    As to jobs, yes, the building sector would have some work for a couple of years but then, the Thanet Parkway is, I think, a very good example of what the amount of new jobs a structure with modern technology can offer.

    My objective input for what it’s worth…

    • Hi Sylvie I agree with your working out especially when it comes to jobs as you say parkway is a great example and as for getting orders together a fully robotic wearhouse burnt down approx 2 years ago maybe more everything in that wearhouse picking, wrapping, on to pallets or crates etc done by robot just a few office computer operators employed even the route was organised by computer how many jobs will be made plane unloading lorry loading can be automated picking automated, I believe in a few years we will need a cargo hub but I the right place central to needs, because of all the housing being built or going through planing in KENT and the rest of our country not just Thanet on our arable farm land where will the lost crops/food come from abroad and because it’s perishable we will need fast transportation thousands of hectares will be lost, whether you agree with climate change or not no one can say crops world wide are being destroyed by drought or fire, if we want to feed our children in years not to disstant we have to protect our farms,
      Health our children and grandchildren are already suffering from the increase in dust pollution causing an increase in childhood asthma this is mainly due to house building and some of the materials used increase in traffic which is causing the small particles to float in the air and we all know because being little are getting a bigger does than us adults and because there lungs are not fully grown as adults are, we have to do something about it before it is to late.

  6. Karen, how do you know what type of Planes, will be flying into Manston? you say we will loose our Tourism industry, have you been to Ramsgate recently, it is Dead, who would want to come to Ramsgate, there is nothing here.
    You say there will be minimal Jobs, how do you know( I would love your Crystal Ball ) why are you concerned about where the 500 million comes from, it’s not coming out of the Councils pockets, unlike the money, which conveniently, ended up fighting the Judicial Review, that money could helped clean Ramsgate Town Centre ( I didn’t see you mention that in your Report)
    You also said in your report, that people from Canterbury, would rather travel to Gatwick than catch a flight from Manston, obviously you are not a very good judge of distance.
    How do you know there will be Thousands of extra lorries on the A299, we have a Railway line a few Hundred Meters from the Airport.
    Last but not least, you say about Health, you are a fine example of a Healthy Human

    • Tripod. I live in Rammers. I very much enjoy what Ramsgate has to offer. I have researched planes (and trains lorries and cargo predictions.)The planes will be polluting. This is admitted.

      There’s no crystal ball required to understand how the workplace is rapidly changing. I’ve worked with enough blue chip companies over the decades to know precisely how companies work. The bottom line rules.

      If you live the other side of Canterbury it is easy enough to get into your car and drive to Gatwick. Plus there’s a lot more choice at Gatwick.

      • Karen you have not answered, the question, about the money that Councilor Green gave to Jenny Dawes, to fight this DCO, will Ramsgate Rate payers get there money back?

        • Tripod. The 10k spent by RTC was lawfully and democratically decided. Despite toxic attempts by Craig et al to suggest otherwise.

          Meanwhile, surely this 10k pales into insignificance compared to the 100s of thousands spent by various TDC administrations desperate to prove this dead duck will work. None of those reports agreed. None of them.

          Do I get my money back? No. Because democratically TDC could do so.

          So please stop whining about RTC.

      • Karen, you do make I larf!
        A choice of either driving fo Manston or Gatwick ? Having spent 20 years of my working life driving all over the UK I know which I would rather do, and it wouldn’t be westwards.
        As for pollution, Thanet is already near gridlock at many times of the day, just what do you think a thousand or two more cars from a huge housing estate will do to the area? Want to live in a huge conurbation?, then perhaps you could move to London instead.
        Please get real.

        • OK Tonup, so why did at least 4 aviation companies go bust at Manston then? I will tell you, it was due to lack of demand, it couldn’t compete with Gatwick, and other airports. I did use it once, and the plane wasn’t even half full, yet the cost was the same including traveling to Gatwick by rail, and flight to Alicante where I used to winter. And cargo companies will do the same, as there is plenty of spare capacity at Southend, Luton, and the midlands that are better located for onward distribution.

          • Short and simple answer is that the current proposal is to conentrate on Air Freight. The passenger facility will come when that part of is established.
            The last passenger encumber left because Gloag wished to sell up, her intentions all along were to re-sell for housing. I believe they were not unhappy with the way things were going as such.

      • ‘ Rammers’ Who uses that term for Ramsgate? The so called arty progressive elite? What a stupid name. Jolly hockey sticks what!

    • I was in the Spoons on Sunday lunchtime.
      It was busy.
      I imagine that Karen mentioned £500,000,000 because it is an obvious difficulty for RSP.
      It’s a simple matter of geography that not far west of Canterbury and it’s quicker to go to Gatwick than Manston.

  7. How many people complained when the RAF and the US Airforce flew from Manston in the jets that didn’t have noise baffling systems installed?
    No doubt when the new, environmentally frenfldly hydrogen fuelled aircraft become the norm you will be complaining about the lack of pollution!
    And as a Councillor once said to me, we don’t complain as members about housing as it brings in more council tax and voters, so I know why the council would prefer housing at Manston!

      • We are getting it anyway, certainly, but building on Manston will ADD to thar number as sure as eggs is eggs.
        Thanet will become totally gridlocked.

        • Exactly that. Those who think they’ll build houses INSTEAD on Manston rather than IN ADDITION TO, are living in la la land.

    • There are no commercially available aircraft other than fossil-fueled.
      Because hydrogen is expensive to manufacture and difficult and dangerous to transport and store, tlit is an unlikely fuel.

  8. Cllr Karen Constantine: Your article is labelled as opinion, not fact, but here are some facts.

    The Azimuth Reports were peer reviewed. Fact. Dr Sally Dixon is a highly qualified aviation forecaster. Fact.
    The York Aviation Reports weren’t peer reviewed. Fact. Ms Louise Congdon isn’t qualified at all in aviation forecasting. Fact.
    The Secretary of State for Transport researched all facts (not opinions) of the Manston Airport DCO and accepted it twice. Fact.
    Two highly qualified judges have dismissed Ms Dawes’s claims on all counts. Fact.
    RSP have already carried out an HIA. Fact.
    Thanet has a poor health and life expectancy due to deprivation and unemployment. Fact. Employment by any airport is high and the value of houses goes up. Fact.
    Manston Airport will be Zero Carbon Neutral on the ground from Day 1. Fact.
    Aircraft are getting quieter and cleaner aviation fuel is being developed. Fact.
    The DCO is a legal document. Fact. It states there will be no night flights between 11.30pm and 6am. Fact.
    It also states that there will be passenger flights as soon as the freight side is established. Fact.
    The airport should not be a political argument. Fact. Labour run Canterbury City Full Council have had a full presentation from RSP and wholeheartedly support it. Fact.
    Dover District Full Council have had a full presentation by RSP and also wholeheartedly support Manston Airport reopening as a freight hub. Fact.
    TDC (where Manston Airport exists) have so far refused to allow RSP to present to full council, voted against by Thanet Labour and Green Parties. Embarrassing Disgraceful Fact.
    A vocal minority of approximately 1000 on No Nght Flights, are against RSP’s DCO. Fact.
    The majority of Thanet residents, including 14,000 supporters on SMA and SMAa, support RSP’s DCO. Fact.

    • Not seeing any evidence to underpin your claim of facts. That’s a shame. The ExA concluded that an air cargo hub isn’t required, the report itself by the Judge establishes precisely the amount of pollution we can expect. The benefits don’t outweigh the clear negative impacts….

    • You are wrong on so many counts!
      Especially this one: “The DCO is a legal document. Fact. It states there will be no night flights between 11.30pm and 6am. Fact.”
      In fact, the DCO says that there is no time restriction on unscheduled landings. Fact.

    • The Independent Assessment provided by OveArup and commissioned by the SoS supported the recommendation of the ExA, which in turn was substantially based on York Aviation’s work.

  9. In all the years we have had the right to vote my wife and family have always voted Labour and been proud to do so. However the faceless person named Jenny Dawes ( if that is her real name?) and the support the Labour councillors have given her to try and keep Manston Airport closed, has been the main reason we have questioned ourselves as to do we really want to support Labour anymore in any election? I believe the real reason that our Labour Councillors objected to Manston Airport is purely political and they could not give a fig about job opportunities that undoubtedly that Manston Airport will offer. All this tosh about “ night flight” “ tourism and noise is disgusting ploy. Shame on them.

  10. The USAF left due to noise complaints.

    This aside, a few flights a week is hardly the same as one every 15 mins is it. The old entities versus what is proposed are incomparible.

    Hydrogen flight is also decades away from commercial viability.

    • The U.S. military have only ever left anywhere for strategic military or economic reasons.
      Although the ladies of Greenham Common still believe otherwise.😂😂😂
      It’s why Circumstantial Evidence carries so little weight in Law.

    • Who told you that for heaven’s sake? Pinocchio?
      The USAF left Manston because their job was done, their time there being welcomed by the vast majority of people in the area apart from teenagers who couldn’t compete in the romantic stakes! I was around at the time and remember it well.
      The military constantly move all around this country and other parts of the world, their leaving of Manston had nowt to do with any noise, please get your facts right.

  11. Bill. The facts are that RSP has proposed ATMs of a volume it means a flight every 15 minutes. These volumes were created by RSP, despite there being no need for these levels of cargo movement, in order for their application to be considered an NSIP under the DCO rules.

    I’ve read the DCO and been to all public hearings. If you need more facts please let me know.

  12. Cllr Karen Constantine is now using the issue of health as a cudgel to beat the owners of Manston Airport.
    Let me tell her that I was born in Ramsgate many decades ago when Manston was a busy RAF station with V Bombers and all sorts of commercial flights landing and taking off.
    No one suffered any health issues as a result and as an air cadet based at Manston I was fully exposed first hand.
    Today, I have no lung complications and my health is good for my age.
    So please stop talking about your imaginary health fears because, as far as I am concerned, they did not and do not exist.
    People should learn that this opposition to an airport is but a party political device and is as empty of fact as you would find. The eco-fanatics in the local Labour Party are defeated but they persist in peddling falsehods as a matter of party policy. With Cllr Constantine always at the fore.

      • Karen, I have already sent you an email explaining why this article is of little or no relevance as it relates to a 1999 study that focussed primarily on the health impacts of road traffic particularly diesel vehicles. Airports are barely mentioned.

    • 👏👏👏 in
      My next door neighbour is a 91 year old R.A.F. vet.
      The guy below me is an R.A.F. vet. of 87 years.
      Health is about genetics and personal life choices. Make the incorrect ones and your health and longevity will suffer.

    • How true Robert
      I too was born in Ramsgate and my family all attended school in Ramsgate. Most of them Chatham House Grammar School.
      There have been no ill effects at all. I remember the USAF being at Manston and weren’t we glad of them.
      We are 3/4 surrounded by sea for goodness sake.
      Most of the anti and DFL’s have been in Ramsgate nowhere near as long as we have.
      Flights every 15 minutes ? That’ll be a long time away won’t it.
      I can’t wait to see Airport functioning again.

    • As requested. Some further evidence of the impact on health of aircraft.

      1. ‘The new airport at Schönefeld is crucial for the Berlin economy, as it’ll provide up to 40,000 new jobs,” Ralf Kunkel, a spokesman for Berlin Airports’ Authority, tells TIME. “By closing all the inner-city airports in Berlin, we are relieving tens of thousands of Berliners from the perils of aircraft noise, and so there’s a positive ecological balance,” he says. [Note from AEF: It seems to us that closing some airports and opening a new one is unlikely to generate 40,000 genuinely ‘new’ jobs.]’

      German study shows massive health effect from aircraft noise – Aviation Environment FederationAviation Environment Federation

      2. ‘Noise is defined as “unwanted sound.” Aircraft noise is one, if not the most detrimental environmental effect of aviation. It can cause community annoyance, disrupt sleep, adversely affect academic performance of children, and could increase the risk for cardiovascular disease of people living in the vicinity of airports.’

      Aviation Noise Impacts: State of the Science – PMC

      3. ‘In 2011, Germany’s Frankfurt Airport – the country’s busiest – unveiled its fourth runway. The addition sparked major protests, with demonstrators returning to the airport every Monday for years. “It’s destroying my life,” one protester told Reuters a year later. “Every time I go into my garden, all I can hear and see are planes right above.’

      Why noise pollution is bad for your heart – BBC Future

      4. New research has investigated the potential impact of living near Heathrow airport on cardiovascular hospitalisations and deaths.
      The sound of airplanes flying overhead late at night is linked to a slight increase in hospital admissions for heart-related problems the following day, a study from Imperial College London suggests.

      • Karen, unfortunately it is not clear what major german study you are referring to in 1. Is it the Munich Study, Elmenhorst et al, Greiser, Schrekenberg et al or something else?
        2. The PMC article refers to numerous studies. The first is the RANCH study (2001-2003) and it involved 9-10 year children who were exposed to aircraft and road traffic noise at their schools around Heathrow Airport.Heathrow is in very close proximity to the M25, M4, A30 and the Bath Road and had on average 460,000 movements in the early 2000s.In 2045 Manston is predicted to have 26,468 which is less than 6% (5.8%) of the Heathrow movement numbers for the early 2000s. The Munich Study was done in 1991/1992 when Munich had 192,000 movements. The Stansfield study involved secondary analysis of the first two studies. The WHO study recommends maximum noise levels that are not exceeded by the development.
        3. This article refers to Frankfurt Airport report in 2018 it which had 512.000 movements and Zurich Airport which had approximately 270,000 movements a year.
        4. The Imperial College London Article relates to Heathrow Airport that had approximately 477,000 movements a year for the period studied. Even with this high number of movements it concluded that a 10dB increase gave a small rise in the risk of cardiovascular disease and there was no association between aircraft noise and death due to cardiovascular disease.

        For all the reasons above (and I am happy to back this all up with data) it is hard to see how any of this research implies that the relatively small number of movements at Manston will have the detrimental effect on health that you imply.

  13. Ramsgate was thriving when the Airport was open – Fact
    Nobody ran from the beach as suggested by some anti airport people. We loved it.

    • We certainly did, Carole. Planes flying about made it all exciting. As a cadet I went up in Chipmunk trainers and took part in air-sea recue exercises.
      Now, these DFL busybodies want us to be reduced to their level of boring existence. No cars, no aircraft and no anything. Get a life.

      • It’s obvious that the noise and pollution caused by planes flying over Ramsgate have had serious ill-effects on people who lived there then,judging by the comments of the ones who want another, noisier and more polluting airport at Manston.

        • MM REES – perhaps you should be planning to return to London or Wales if you are so concerned about air quality!! Manston Airport in one guise or another has been here for many many years and certainly prior to your arrival. I hope it’s a great success and aids Thanet development in the future.

          • I left Wales in 1969 and will not be returning there.I like living in Ramsgate and being able to swim in the sea after a brief walk from my home.

  14. Please stop quoting opinions as facts.When the airport closed Ramsgate was on a downward spiral,look up the comments that some of you made at the time,so it was not a sunny, wonderful economy on the rise.As for Azimuth far from beig a robust and accepted by its peers,it has more or less been seen as an outlier,not really definitive But nevermind I expect all those in favour of this I’ll starred scheme,to put in their live savings, because you love it so much.No excuses,no I am too poor,give up the cruise or the winter holiday,and give your money to RSP.
    Any one batting for this scheme will be asked as to how much they are contributing to this wonderful opportunity.So, Carole,Bill,Tripod,Harry, Robert,R, Resident and especially, Checksfield, let’s see the colour of your money.Talk’s cheap. Open your wallets and purses,Hubba! Hubba!

  15. DFL busy bodies is the kind of divisive rhetoric this corrosive saga has generated. These kind of comments are embarrassing for Thanet.

    I hope Craig and Roger and others are proud of the divided community they’ve actively supported to create.

  16. When one reads the utter rubbish that the Labour Councillor peddles out it is no wonder the Labour Party spends years not being elected to govern.

    • The Labour Councillor tells all facts that can be backed up, unlike anything you pros have said so far! The comments, racist and discriminatory are the usual low they go when they don’t know what they are talking about. Most must be from out of the area too. Fact, Fact, fact lol.

  17. Karen. you have written – Would I use it? If I could convince myself to be less concerned about the climate emergency – you bet!

    So does this mean you will never fly again from any airport? If you would, then what about the noise and pollution for the people who live near those airports and the effects on the climate crisis and environment?

  18. Why are councillors of all party’s so blind sided and out of touch, they all promise to be for the people but when it comes to getting on with the promise they backtrack and have brain failure. Khan is a prime example of never listening and also a compulsive liar, no proof in what he says it’s all about money

  19. Or perhaps Robert, they live or go to a school directly under the flightpath at 700 feet.

    This is about real lives. Ramsgate.

    It isn’t the solution to anti housing sentiment. And it isn’t the good old days.

  20. But they all fly on holidays and are happy to do so at other airports. This is clearly a case of not on my doorstep. If they were that concern they would not fly at all

  21. Nobody has mentioned the fact that it was designated nuclear during the Cold War and has many underground silos and bunkers/hangers maybe that’s the real reason people want it to remain as an operational airfield for security reasons and future military use. It wasn’t that long ago a still live ordinance was found there. Plus I’m sure being in use during WW2 it has the now not so secret fuel lines running to it. Pretty sure if housing was built on it there would be a caveat that you can’t grow anything to eat in the gardens due to ground pollution much like st Mary’s island in Medway.

    Just a thought would you like to live on poisoned land or have it as an airfield with some employment and opportunities for the east Kent area as a whole. And for those complaining of pollution I trust all the things you buy are produced 100% in this country at a minimum. Oh wait you just can’t resist Amazon prime and the cheap imported stuff.

  22. It’s a real shame this news site is in a downwards spiral and very left wing controlled. Willing to spread misinformation as well?

    • Most of the misinformation seems to be spread by supporters of Manston Airport, climate change deniers and anti-vaxx enthusiasts.
      I thought that they were right wing?

      • Andrew as I have proven many times you are probably the biggest spreader of misinformation there is 99% of what say is out right lies all of which are created to push your agenda bit like Karen here

  23. There was a full two day high court hearing and reading the full verdict of My Justice Dole it covers and fully explains all the details there is nothing in it to question. Says my brother who is a successful defendant solicitor of 30 experience. Any lawyer who tells you differently is just trying to fleece you for you money knowing full there is no case to answer.

  24. Perhaps Karen can help SMA find some fact based adverts. Instead of the lies and toxic rubbish they peddle on here in their so called adverts.

    ASA standards don’t seem to apply.

    • The issue has been raised with Kathy.
      Adverts are, apparently, just that. Unless they’re making claims that are clearly wrong.
      RSP ans SMA’s wittering are cloaked in conditionals.

  25. I think the time has now come for the owners of Manston Airport to start taking legal action against Jenny Dawes -Labour Councillors-RTC andTDC for criminal harassment. The airport owners have been cleared in the high court to operate. No business should have to tolerate the harassment and intimidation interference that Manston Airport owners have had to endure.
    Jenny Dawes has shown she is even questioning the high court judge. Take them all to court and get them and serve them with injunctions.

        • “The good side won”? How can it be a good thing to enable an airport to be built just outside a town of 40,000 people when there is actually no need of it?

          There is, as many previous commenters here have said more than once, a much greater amount of expert evidence showing that an airport at Manston is not needed than there is evidence showing that there is the need for one there.

    • I agree Bill.
      I asked as much in a thread several weeks ago. When will a member of The Judiciary utter the word “vexacious” in this context.
      Although that said. The legal profession is coining it in.

      • It’s not about winning and losing. Or being Tory supporters or Labour supporters. Its about the pros and cons of having a cargo hub airport next to Ramsgate.

        • Where have I said it was?
          I asked a rhetorical question.
          Like Robert. I don’t vote. I don’t like to encourage the already inflated egos or the gang mentality.
          What I have said is that some people in Thanet have been unsuccessfully politically campaigning to do away with the airfield since 1928. There’s a lesson to be learned from that.

    • We have a tiered justice system in this country. It is a tried and tested system whereby a litigant can (sometimes, but not always) challenge the decision of a lower court in a higher one.
      Leave to appeal is often granted when cutting edge points of law are being tested.
      The Manston DFO is the first one to be granted to a commercial organisation for an airport.
      It is the first of its kind where the ExA’s recommendation was overturned by the SoS.
      It is the first one where that decision was quashed by a JR.
      It’s probably right and proper that this whole thing is thoroughly tested, because it does create a precedent.

  26. Well said, Bill. The charge against these pests is one of being frivolous and vexatious. The problem is that most of them do not have a pot in which to urinate. Which is why they do it.

  27. Bill& Robert Edwards hi the one thing that you both & Jenny & I and everyone else has in this country is freedom of speech I read what each side say and have my say if I wish to and do it freely.

  28. So to oppose something is “criminal harrassment”? How deeply disturbing.

    And laughable.

    By the way, the criminal bit is irrelevant. Harassment is illegal.

    Sorry that democracy has you foaming at the mouth with outrage.

  29. Hey Kc, you wrote. Many of those concerned about the flights over our heads, are deeply and sincerely worried about particulates, noise and disturbed sleep.
    My reply. yes all the above are distressing, avoid at all cost.Maybe relocate. We relocated hers!.
    Airport re-developers Commercial privacy is paramount, they wont say much They dont need to. Who wants insider trading~

    Kc did you accumulate 5 years of data re what you mentioned above For the last 5 years when the airport was operational.
    Did you accumulate the next 5 years when the airport ceased operations ?
    The data readouts are important. They are available from different organisations (paywalled but available)
    Health of local residents, madam were living in a human zoo/

  30. Funny how a empty airport is not an airport but a empty carpark is still a carpark.
    The future will bring cleaner vehicles so let’s look to the future people and stop moaning about who’s right.

  31. Alice. What is harassment?

    The law states that harassment is when a person behaves in a way which is intended to cause you distress or alarm. The behaviour must happen on more than one occasion. It can be the same type of behaviour or different types of behaviour on each occasion. For example, one text message intended to distress you is not harassment. Two text messages may be harassment. One text message and one phone call may also be harassment.

    Harassment can include things your abuser has said or done. The incidents could have happened recently or they could have happened months apart.

    When deciding whether your abuser’s behaviour is harassment, the court will consider whether a reasonable person, who had the same information your abuser had, would think that it is harassment. An incident of harassment could be a range of things, for example:

    a text, answer-phone message, letter or email
    a comment or threat
    standing outside someone’s house or driving past it
    an act of violence
    damage to someone else’s property
    maliciously and falsely reporting you to the police when you have done nothing wrong

    • Thanks for the explanation I didn’t need Bill.

      Exercising ones right to a democratic protest is not going to be deemed harrassment in a court of law.

      It is just an empty threat by some and unfortunately part of what is a corrosive, divisive issue where the voice of the silent majority has had almost no official support.

      We fight on regardless

    • I suppose that makes you guilty of harassment with all the protests your group of supporters carried on outside TDC offices to get Manston open again!

  32. Regarding health disparities,

    What are the life expectancies, health issues that dominate , general health issues around heathrow, gatwick and stanstead? What are the projected improvements in health outcomes for those that may be employed by the airport and so have improved incomes?

    As for the wonders of automation and low numbers of employess , why does that not apply to the hand car washes that seem to employ huge numbers of incomers to the area, the vast majority of whom it would be fair to say are on low incomes. Why do these jobs not interest thanets home grown under employed?

    In respect of the same hand car wash sites do all of these in thanet have the appropriate planning permissions and comply with environmental standards?

    Being surrounded on 3 sides by the sea and the limited extent of the areas housing landwards of the airfield is it not reasonable to assume that any issues with particulates is going to rather less than say at Heathrow , winds from 3 directions taking them out to sea, is it not preferrable to have the emmissions from flights coming to thanet rather than the london airfields and affecting fewer people?

    The owners of manston have a plan, they say they can raise the finance to implement said plan, as far as i’m aware the funding is all going to be private equity, what is the problem with letting them succeed or fail on their own efforts.

    The isle has endless entities that are forever holding their hands out for public funds to keep themselves going and project an illusion of success, ne nice to have a real company trying to make a go of things with its own cash. If it fails then another use will be found.

    Manston could be a good facility for freight, maintenance and training , i really can’t see it ever being a viable passenger facility for anything but private and charter flights. Plus we might have a chance of getting the airshow back and that’d certainly rebalance the arguments in terms of tourism.

  33. MM Rees, of course it is about political parties. The Labour Party is opposed to a revived Manston Airport as a matter of local policy. They speak with one unified voice. There isn’t a single genuinely independent voice among them. This is the very nature of party politics, the reason I do not vote.
    Of course there are winners and losers. You lost, we won.
    There is going to be an operational airport whether you like it or not. You just can’t accept it. Tough.

    • Nobody lost. Nobody won. The judge made a correct legal judgment but that doesn’t mean that there will be a working airport.

    • Well, Mr Edwards, over a dozen international aviation experts, including one appointed by the SoS, think otherwise.
      The really interesting question is: why did the SoS give great weight to Sally Dixon’s Azimuth report, whilst ignoring all the others, including the one he commissioned himself?
      What’s abundantly clear is that the DCO decision was a political one, not based on evidence at all.

  34. Those who enter illegally are criminals especially those who stowaway on ships, putting other people’s lives in danger, they should be locked up and deported.

  35. Kc, hey still waiting for a reply from my comment on 26/9 @ 1533

    That historic data is important it would be significant and obviously a serious spanner in the works for dco to consider.

    Hey ho nothing seems to change by the people with influence.

    • Hi James she hasn’t replied to anyone since 7.13pm on 25/9/2023. Yes I read your request for the councillor to give details of the two lots of 5 years historical data concerning the levels fore and after and agree they would be of greater benefit to the dco and possibly back up what I’ve said and facts I’ve already ascertained from various medical sources.

  36. When we read the words of wisdom from Peter Checksfield, Harry Webb, Robert Edwards, Ramsgate resident and Tripod, the phrase turkeys voting for Christmas springs to mind.

    • There’s nothing like personal insults to raise the intellectual level and quality of debate.
      Is there?
      Have a lovely weekend… whoever you may be.

        • Robert. I’ve already expressed my personal preference earlier in the thread. It is neither airport nor housing.
          What I say grates with anti-airport folk because they have collectively failed to learn the lessons from the entire history of the conflict over the area, going back a century. Along with the way in which long lived human settlements occur.
          I take the very long view. Always have done. Always will.

  37. It is a shame Sally Fiction didn’t look into the future before she wrote her work of fiction in 2018
    Today it is far clearer how poorly the aircargo market is coping in the UK
    Southend and two other airports either closed or up for sale
    To July 2023 (running) total airfreight tonnage at all reporting airports in the UK is down 18% on the same timescale of 2019 the last year before Covid.
    Belly Hold freight is back at Heathrow however they are still down to 61% of all airfreight
    Heathrow, East Midlands and Stanstead are handling 90% of all aircargo and EMA is only running at 29% capacity
    What RSP are saying about freight just doesn’t ring true when the facts are presented

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