KCC opposes estuary airport but says Manston is the short term answer to airport shortage
Both Medway Council and Kent County Council have described plans for a Thames estuary airport as a “pie in the sky” idea, and believe Manston airport should be developed instead. Kent County Council has recently said “The building of a new airport will take at least a few years to come to fruitition. Increasing the use of Manston airport could help the government’s initiative to boost airport capacity in the South East in the short term.” This is very troubling to people living around Manston. Leaders on Medway Council have called on Transport Secretary Justine Greening to look at “fully utilising the capacity of existing airports including Manston and Birmingham, which could both be joined to London by high speed rail.”
KCC says Manston is the short term answer to airport shortage
20.1.2012 (No Night Flights at Manston)
NEWSFLASH: the real reasons Flybe quit Manston – click HERE
The county council says it will still object to a Thames Estuary airport.
Kent County Council has said a public consulatation into the idea of a major new airport in the Thames Estuary will put an end to the speculatuion over proposal. The scheme has been in the headlines this week after it was revealed it would form part of an inquiry into airport capacity in the South East in March. Alex King, Deputy Leader of Kent County Council said:
“Kent County Council is very pleased that there will be a consultation on the proposed Thames Estuary airport to give everybody interested an opportunity to have their say on record and to put an end to speculation. We are still against the building of a new airport in Kent or Medway. Building a new airport on land or sea in the Thames Estuary will cause significant environment problems, and the case has not been proven that this is the correct solution to the issue.
We believe that serious consideration also needs to be given to the short and medium term solutions.
Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson has also come out against the idea. He said:
“I have written to David Cameron reminding him that in October 2010 he efectively said the Government had no plans to build an airport in the Thames Estuary to see if this is still the case. I have also joined with other Kent MPs whose constituencies are affected by an airport so we can have a meeting with him. My view is this is not likely to happen. It is a political ploy purely to bolster Boris Johnson’s reputation for his election campaign.
People do start worrying that their house is going to be blighted by the building of an airport and that is my main concern as there are vulnerable people out there who are taken in by this story. All the Government has said is that it will consider all options accept a third runway at Heathrow. There are a minority of people in my constituency who may welcome it because of the jobs but there are wider issues than that. You have to have a balance between introducing jobs to an area and spoiling the quality of life for everybody else.”
kentnews 19th Jan 2012
Kent County Council’s website says:
Thames Estuary airport consultation announced
20 January 2012
Alex King, Deputy Leader of Kent County Council said:
“Kent County Council is very pleased that there will be a consultation on the proposed Thames Estuary airport to give everybody interested, an opportunity to have their say on record and to put an end to speculation.
“We are still against the building of a new airport in Kent or Medway. Building a new airport on land or sea in the Thames Estuary will cause significant environment problems, and the case has not been proven that this is the correct solution to the issue.
“We believe that serious consideration also needs to be given to the short and medium term solutions. The building of a new airport will take at least a few years to come to fruitition. Increasing the use of Manston airport could help the government’s initiative to boost airport capacity in the South East in the short term.”
Heart – Kent ? 19.1.2012
Thames Estuary Airport
It is claimed plans for a new airport off the Kent coast in the Thames Estuary are being considered by the government and a public consultation will be announced in weeks.
The controversial multi-billion pound proposals would see an international hub airport built partly on reclaimed land and based on either an island or on the Hoo peninsula.
London’s Mayor Boris Johnson has been championing the idea for sometime, while leading architect Lord Foster published his vision for the airport in November, with plans for four runways, each 2.5miles long, round the clock flights and facilities to cope with 150 million passengers a year.
A new Thames flood barrier would be built, as well as new roads and rail links to get passengers to and from the terminal.
The Prime Minister has ruled out further expansion at London’s Heathrow airport, and is now said to be considering the Thames Estuary hub as a possible option to deal with the increasing demand for air travel and to help the UK compete with European rivals.
Speaking last week, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority’s chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Additional capacity would offer significant benefits for consumers and for the UK as a whole, so long as it is delivered in an environmentally sustainable way.
“However, as we haven’t built a single runway in the south east of England capable of handling Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s for over 70 years, the difficulty of increasing capacity is obvious.
“The challenge facing the Government is to create an aviation policy that stands the test of time – not a policy for five years, but one for 30 years.
But the proposals have been met with opposition from both Medway Council and Kent County Council who have described it as a “pie in the sky” idea, and believe Manston airport should be developed instead.
Friends of the Earth are also concerned about the idea. Executive director, Andy Atkins, said: “A new airport in the Thames estuary would have a devastating impact on local communities and the environment – and all for pie-in-the sky economics that simply don’t add up.
“London doesn’t need another hub airport – the capital already has more flights to the world’s main business destinations than our European neighbours.
Protect Kent have welcomed the public consultation into the proposal for airports in the Thames Estuary. The group, which promotes the diversity of rural England, has argued that the airports would have a disastrous impact on land both north and south of the Thames.
Andrew Ogden, campaigns manager for Protect Kent, said: “While our views on this consultation may appear to contradict our normal stance, we anticipate that this opportunity to share all of the facts and figures behind these proposals will expose them as the futile schemes they are.
“Over the past 60 years there have been many ventures to build airports in and around the Thames Estuary but none have ever passed the planning stage.
“Together with other campaigning and environmental groups, we will be presenting our case against these airports in response to the consultation.”
to attend an urgent meeting so she can hear their objections to the scheme.
In an open letter from the four group leaders on the authority, they said that 76% of the UK public are opposed to the airport proposal, along with many major airline industry leaders.
It said: “If it were to go ahead, it would have a huge affect on the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents in Medway, as well as across Kent and the wider Thames estuary, and would devastate an area of global environmental significance providing a home for around 250,000 migrating wildfowl annually.
“An airport would cost up to £70 billion, would require huge highways and infrastructure and would cut great swathes off the green belt and countryside.
“We strongly urge you to keep to Government policy and continue looking at fully utilising the capacity of existing airports – such as the five London already has (which is two more than New York) and others such as Manston and Birmingham, which could both be joined to London by high speed rail.
“We look forward to meeting with you at the earliest available opportunity to discuss this urgent matter further.”
And they were saying the same thing in 2008
KCC chief backs Manston over new Thames Estuary airport
– Friday, February 15 2008
KCC leader Paul Carter: said an airport on the Thames Estuary “is never going to be viable or popular”
KENT County Council leader Paul Carter has hit back at Boris Johnson’s call for a new airport in the Thames Estuary.
Mr Johnson, the Tories’ London mayoral candidate, is calling on the Government to reconsider plans for a new airport in the estuary instead of going ahead with the widely opposed plans for a third runway at Heathrow.
But Cllr Carter on the other hand believes Kent International Airport at Manston could be the solution to improve airport capacity and has invited MP Boris Johnson to see for himself.
He said: “Manston provides enormous opportunities for aviation technology and services and support of the aviation industry.
“An airport on the Thames Estuary is never going to be viable or popular. We don’t need it when we have a perfectly positioned, ready-for-action, airport in Manston.
“I look forward to welcoming Boris to Kent to see what Kent has already on offer.”
Manston has one of the few long-haul runways in the UK and currently has the capacity to run 700,000 passenger flights a year.
Mr Carter stressed with one million passengers through Manston this would create between 1,500 to 2,000 jobs in an area which has some of the highest deprivation in the country.
Matt Clarke, the chief executive of Kent International Airport, has backed the county leader’s calls for the airport to be better utilised.
He said: “Kent International is a significant piece of aviation infrastructure. We are one of the few airports in the UK with a long-haul capable runway and we already host daily Boeing 747 freight services at Manston.
“We have the capacity to soak up some of the South-East’s excess demand for runway capacity. Using facilities that already exist makes much more sense than building a new airport.”