Protest as Lydd airport inquiry into runway extension and new terminal starts
building and extend the runway at a Kent airport gets under way.
and damage wildlife in one of the South East’s most tranquil sites.
desperately needing regeneration.
the week to allow site visits.
after a seven-hour meeting.
a day and we have given a guarantee that we are not going to be flying at night,”
said senior air traffic controller Tim Maskins.
will not be nearly as bad as some have feared.”
extension of almost 300m (328yds), the council approved a 150m (164yds) apron
for aircraft to be parked, loaded and boarded.
Chamber of Commerce. Those against include the RSPB, Protect Kent and Natural
wildlife habitats in the UK.
special place which provides much needed space for both wildlife and the people
who come here to enjoy it,” said south east conservation manager Sam Dawes.
“You have to choose whether you are picking for the people and the jobs or the
pebbles and the newts.
by Lydd Airport, called Edwards Harvey
the airport owners to spend tens of millions of pounds on developing Lydd – once
one of the busiest airports in
in air travel in South East England.
where thousands of jobs are to go with the closure of drug company Pfizer.
£25 million to create a modern regional airport on the Romney Marsh site, providing
hundreds of jobs and sparking the economic regeneration of an unemployment blackspot.
was once one of the busiest in
building is planned to replace the existing 1950s terminal.
On 3 March 2010, after a seven-hour debate, councillors at Shepway District Council
voted by 27 to 12 to allow the construction of a 294m runway extension plus a
150m starter extension and a new terminal able to handle up to 500,000 passengers
In June the Government overruled the council’s decision and arranged a public
inquiry. The plans have the backing of many residents and business groups, while opposition
is being voiced by other residents, Natural England and the RSPB.
environmental concerns and a huge amount of progress has been made.
be granted,” she added.
The inquiry takes place at Shepway Council’s Civic Centre in Folkestone. Dozens
of witnesses will give evidence on issues including ornithology, ecology, noise,
nuclear safety and socio-economic considerations. The inquiry is scheduled to
last until mid-July.
any new aviation policy from by the Government will not be in place before 2013
at the earliest.
as it would enable Lydd to meet local demand, thereby reducing the need to travel
on the congested road network to other more distant
the South East, including Lydd, is explicitly supported within the Future of Air Transport White Paper, subject to environmental considerations.
within Shepway and further afield. The airport is specifically identified in the
policies and regeneration frameworks for Kent and Shepway as having a role to
play in economic regeneration, both through creating jobs and providing a wider
stimulus to growth.
and long-term contraction of established local industries. The prospects for the
area are worsened by the closure of Dungeness A and B nuclear power stations.
aircraft. Activities include LyddAir scheduled services to Le Touquet, general
and business aviation activities and aircraft maintenance.
unable to attract airlines to start commercial passenger services mainly because
of the short length of the existing runway, which is too short for operations
by medium sized jets used on charter and low fares services. Even for regional
scheduled services, the aircraft types which could use the existing runway are
being phased out.
more than 100 passengers a flight. With modification, it will allow medium sized
jet aircraft of up to 189 seats to be handled one at a time.
more than 300,000 passengers per annum. Given the limitations on handling more
than one flight at a time in the old terminal, it will be desirable for the new
terminal to be available before this airport reaches a throughput of 300,000 passengers
would be 233,600 passengers per year].
to be addressed, either by cutting back operations and costs or by seeking to
exploit to the maximum extent possible, the 24 hour capabilities of the existing
runway. This is likely to involve the attraction of night freight operations and
additional heavy maintenance work.
of which 2.5 million passengers were within the local catchment area of Lydd.
In preparing demand forecasts, we’ve grown this market potential from current
levels using the latest growth rates advised by the Department for Transport,
while reflecting the impact of the recession on national demand growth.
2023 and half a million passengers per annum in 2028. In the event of continued
capacity constraint at other
to be viably served from this airport. We’ve taken a conservative approach to
assessing how much of this market Lydd might attract on any given route, having
regard to the expected development of routes in parallel from
will be attracted to operate initially low frequency seasonal services from Lydd.
Once the airport’s ability to attract passengers to these services had been proven,
we expect a small network of regional scheduled services to develop to points
to European cities, such as
the operation of
a year, the operation of
which could amount to between 3% and 9% of total passengers. These inbound tourist
visits would themselves support additional local employment in the range of 33
to 96 jobs.
from Lympne to Le Touquet. By 1953, Lympne could no longer cope with the volume of traffic and another airport
was needed. Work started in January 1954, and in six months Lydd was open for
business. Two runways had been built plus a two-storey terminal building at a
cost of £320,000.
to take their cars and family to
prospered and in 1958 the airport handled 223,000 passengers, which was 37,000
more than Gatwick. The growth of the ferry market from