Manston airport – Kent International

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and NO Night Flights  Blog site    

Permission granted for Judicial Review

13th October 2020

Permission was granted for a  Judicial Review of the agreement to build a cargo airport at Manston & there will be a costs cap.  

Well done to the No Night Flights Over Ramsgate group, and all those who have worked hard to bring this about & everyone who has contributed £££

Update from Jenny Dawes – who brought the legal challenge against the government’s Manston decision

4th December 2020

Following the quashing of the Manston Airport Development Consent Order 2020 by the Court, the Secretary of State will write to all interested parties, setting out key issues and inviting further written representations on those issues.

Interested parties include the applicant, the local authority and anyone who previously registered by filling out a Relevant Representation form at the inquiry stage (and had it accepted as valid).

The Secretary of State will make a decision based on the Examining Authority’s Report and the further representations. The Secretary of State has three months to make a decision but this can be extended.

The decision could be either a refusal to make a Manston Airport Development Consent Order or a decision to grant such a Consent Order.

If a DCO is refused, RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) may wish to bring a judicial review. I would be an Interested Party in any such challenge.

If a DCO is granted, another judicial review can be brought on the existing grounds and any further grounds that may arise on review of the decision letter.



Government grants Manston DCO to allow the airport to re-open, against Planning Inspectorate recommendation

Airport might re-open….

Manston has been closed as an airport since May 2014. It is the first airport to have to take its plans through the DCO (Development Consent Order) process, dependant on the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS). It always failed as an airport in the past, largely due to its location. In October 2019, the Planning Inspector recommended to the Secretary of State for Transport that Manston should not be re-opened. The decision was then for transport minister Andrew Stephenson, “with the secretary of state, Grant Shapps, recused to avoid any conflict of interest.”  He has now given approval to the DCO for the airport to re-open, for cargo and even passengers – overruling the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The airport claims it could open by 2023, handling up to 10,000 cargo flights a year as well as passenger services, with construction starting as early as 2021. There is huge opposition to the plans, due to noise and air pollution. The approach path from the east is directly over Ramsgate, about 2 miles from the airport. PINS had said opening Manston would have “a material impact on the ability of government to meet its carbon reduction targets”. The ANPS is currently not valid, awaiting a Supreme Court hearing on 7th and 8th October.

Click here to view full story…

Manston airport closed on 15th May 2014.


It lost its CAA licence.

Now named “Stone Hill Park.”

The site may in future be re-named “Stone Hill Park” with  plans by developers for  up to 2,500 homes, work units, parkland. The outline proposals were put out for consultation at the start of July 2015.  More information at


Manston’s Night Flights Proposal (November 2011)

Manston’s NF proposal states that the Night-time Period will be 2300-0700. However, the Night-time Quota Period will be 2330-0600 – this will be the only period during which any restrictions apply.There will be two restrictions:
  • Quota Count: a maximum of 1,593 QC points per calendar year.
  • ATMs: a maximum of 659 per calendar year.
The 659 ATMs average out to 1.8 per night, between 2330-0600.The proposal also makes predictions/estimates of the ATMs that would occur between 2300-2330 and 0600-0700…”based on the activity level forecast in the Master Plan for 2018 combined with an internal assessment of the likely distribution of business through the day, the estimated distribution of aircraft movements for 2018…”leading them to arrive at the predicted/estimated figure of an average 3.2 ATMs between 2300-2330 and 3.2 ATMs between 0600-0700 (giving an estimated total of 8.2 per night, on average).So, the 1.8 is the only figure that they are committing to, or will be monitored on (if they’re monitored at all!). The other 6.4 flights forecast for “true” night will be as unmonitored and unrestricted as if they were daytime flights – there could be ten times as many under these proposals. There is no indication, as far as anyone can see, as to how or whether late arrivals would contribute to the QC maximum or ATM maximum.Full set of proposal documents at:

Wikipedia page on Manston airport    Wikipedia

Runway length    10/28   2,752 metres (9,029 feet)  asphalt / concrete

Kent Airport. Flights and CO2 emissions.

Analysis of flights, routes, and top 10 destinations from Kent Airport in 2011.                      Also carbon emissions.
And passenger growth and numbers over the past 15 years.



CAA figures:    CAA aviation statistics
Terminal Passengers:    

CAA – Terminal Passengers 1998 – 2008

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012

2012    8,262  (down – 77.8% on 2011
2011    37,169 (up + 45%  on 2010)
2010    26,000  (up + 382% on 2009 !!!!)  link to 2010 data
2009     5,355  (down – 53.9% on 2008)
2008    11,635 (down  -25.2% on 2007)
2007    16,000   (up 58% on 2006)
2006    10,000
2005    207,000
2000      6,000
1996    –

Air Transport Movements

CAA ATM statistics 1998 – 2008

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 4.2) ATMs 2002 – 2012

2012     687  (down – 53.3% on 2012)
2011      1,472  (up 28% on 2010)
2010     1,000 approx   link to 2010 data
2009     590  ( + 9.3% on 2008)
2008     541  (down 11% on 2007)
2007    –
2006    –
2005    5
2000    –
1996    –

Air Freight

CAA Air Freight statistics 1998 – 2008

UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 13.2) Freight 2002 – 2012

2012    31,078  (up + 13% on 2011)
2011    27,495  (down – 2% on 2010)
2010    28,103  (down – 6% on 2009)    link to 2010 data
2009    30,038  (up  +17% on 2008)
2008    25,673  (down -10% on 2007)
2007    28,371 (up +36% on 2006)
2006    20,841
2005    7,612
2000    32,238
1996    1,918

(Manston had the 10th highest air freight tonnage in the UK in 2008.  Details ).



Airport Contact Details:  Manston. Ramsgate, Kent  CT12 5BP
Tel:  01843 823 600
Multimap of CT12 5BP  Kent International airport
Proportion of domestic passengers, out of total passengers
– comparing Tables 9 and 10.2
 2.4% in 2006
0.5% in 2007
15.1% in 2008
Business Aviation:  Number of business flights (= private jets) 
CAA statistics, annual figures – Table 3.1
 2007      64 (and 597 air taxis)
2008      51 (and 258 air taxis)

Air freight at Manston – freight tonnages:

from CAA airport statistics (Table 13 of each month’s airport data)
All of 2011
Sept 2011      2482 tonnes   (CAA data)
Aug 2011       1888 tonnes
July 2011       2225 tonnes   (CAA data)
June 2011      2332
May 2011        2420
Apr 2011        1914
Mar 2011        2009
Feb 2011       1865
Jan 2011       1837
All of 2010     28,103  tonnes  (down 6% on 2009)   1.2% of UK total
Aug 2010    – no mention  July 2010    – no mention  June 2010   – 227 tonnes   (0.11% of the UK total)  May 2010   –   820 tonnes   (0.4% of the UK total)  April 2010   – 874 tonnes   (0.55% of the UK total)Mar 2010    – 2,293 tonnes   (1.08% of the UK total)Feb 2010     – 1,680 tonnes   (0.95% of the UK total)Jan 2010       – 3,334 tonnes (2% of the UK total)  by comparison, East Midlands airport was 11.7%
All of 2009   – 30,038 tonnes   (1.47% of the UK total)
  Dec 2009      –   2,946 tonnes   (1.556% of the UK total)  Nov 2009      – 3,055 tonnes (1.55% of the UK total)
Oct 2009       – 2,818 tonnes (1.45% of the UK total)
All of 2008   – 25,673 tonnes (1.12% of the UK total)
All of 2007   – 28,371 (1.22% of the   UK total)
All of 2006   – 20,841 tonnes   (0.9% of the UK total)
All of 2005   – 7,612 tonnes (0.32% of the UK total)
All of 2004   –   26,626 tonnes (1.12% of the UK total)
All of 2003     – 43,026 tonnes (1.95% of the UK total)
All of 2002     – 32,240   tonnes (1.47% of the UK total)
All of 2001   – 35,521 tonnes (1.66% of the UK total)
All of 2000   – 32,239 tonnes (1.38% of the UK total)
All of 1995     –   5,073 tonnes (0.29% of the UK total)

Master Plan 2009 published

27th November 2009    Previous master plan figures were significantly cut back.

Though the figures for passengers are a little lower than those initially in
the draft Master Plan consultation, they are still massively higher than at present.
And unrealistic.
The airport hopes to get up to 1,268,000 passengers per year by 2015.
The airport hopes for 2.2 million passengers per year by 2018.  (Previous figure
was 2.7 million) and 4,752,000 passengers by 2033. (The previous figure for 2033 was 5.7 million).

The master plan shows the airport expects fewer than 50,000 passengers in 2010,
rising to 527,000 in 2014.  It is working on the assumption that airlines will
begin operating daily scheduled services from the airport from 2014 at the latest.
The total number of passenger flights per day are expected to rise from one in
2010 to 56 in 2018 and 97 in 2033.

They also hope to get up to 138,400 tonnes of air freight per year by 2015,
and 401,200 tonnes by 2033.
The whole Master Plan document (116 pages) is at   Master Plan.     3.32. MB
Draft  Airport Master Plan 2008 published     12.10.2008
Consultation    ended 19th December 2008
Kent International Airport published details of its development plans for the
next 25 years.   Included in the draft Master Plan are details of how it sees growth opportunities for the airport during the next 25 years.   The airport says “The final version of the Master Plan will be published in early 2009”   but it is still a draft master plan.
The consultation said “It is not necessary to extend the runway within the Master Plan period unless required by airline operators.”   and   “Structure Plan and Local Plan policies estimate that a throughput of up to  6 million passengers per annum and up to 400,000 tonnes of freight per annum could be achieved at the airport by 2015 and that these figures should not be seen as a ceiling limit on development at the airport.”

Airport Master Plan:

Previous ? around 2002, by Wiggins Group, who then owned the airport.
Master Plan went out for consultation – published 12.10.2008, with deadline for
comment 19.12.2008.   Massive expansion anticipated, for freight and passenger
By contrast with the massive growth now proposed, the ? 2002 version stated:
“The master plan identifies the need for additional warehousing facilities to
facilitate the growth in cargo traffic from the current level of some 35,000 tonnes
to an annual rate of 70,000 tonnes by the end of financial year 2002/03, a figure
that is likely to be exceeded given the strength of demand being shown. The master
plan also specifically identified the creation of hangar and aviation related
facilities on land to the north of the B2050, commonly referred to as the Northern Grass”.


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