Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Manston Airport Consultation Results


More than 2,000 residents took the time to air their views as part of the council’s public consultation on proposals for regular night-time flying at Manston Airport.

The majority were opposed to the implementation of regular night-time flying, with approximately 73% opposed, 26% in favour and 1% not clearly stating a position.  

The main reasons given by those who were opposed were:
  • the likely disturbance to sleep
  • the effect on health and quality of life
  • unacceptable noise levels
  • the likely detrimental impact on the local economy
  • overstating the potential economic benefits.

Those in favour stated the reasons for their support as including:
  • jobs/employment opportunities
  • regeneration of Thanet
  • their desire for the airport to develop
  • night flights needed to ensure the future viability of the airport
  • Airport has been there for many years.

The responses were also analysed by area to ensure that the council gathers the views of those who live under the identified flight path, those who live within Thanet and those from outside of Thanet.  The results were approximately as follows:

Total responses
In favour
Middle ground/ unclear
Overall responses to consultation
Under the flight path
Within Thanet
Outside of Thanet

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Clive Hart, said: “Firstly I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation.  We know that it’s such an important issue for local people and that’s clearly reflected in the high level of response. The feedback from this consultation will now be considered by Councillors, along side the findings of the Independent Assessment completed by Parsons Brinckerhoff and the proposed policy itself, to agree the council’s consultation response to Infratil. I am sure every Councillor will be carefully analysing these results to see what residents have said, before we finalise our response.”

A report is due to be considered by members of the Airport Working Party on Wednesday 4 April. The report then goes to Scrutiny on Tuesday 24 April, Cabinet on Thursday 10 May and will then be considered at an Extraordinary meeting of Full Council on Thursday 24 May. 


  1. 2,000 out of a population of 132,000 would tend to suggest that most people in Thanet are not really bothered about night flights either way. Nonetheless, I don't doubt that the 'No to Night Flights' fraternity and our Labour council will claim public support for their stance.

    What concerns me is the total waste of time and public money this rather limited consulation has been.

    1. why waste time and taxpayers money ,2000 only on the island don't want night flights, lets get the airport under new management up and running , get people employed , that's far more important ,than worrying about a couple of night flights, that odd few can always move ,i do live along side the flight path,

    2. I think this needs to be put into some perspective the Thanet electorate is about 92,000 and of this amount around 39,000 voted in the last referendum, so for an online only 2,275 doesn’t seem to be a bad response.

      It would of course exclude pretty much everyone without an internet connection and of course all those supporting night flights had the opportunity to take part.

      I would be interested to know what sort of figure you both think would be a good for an online survey.

      My interest here is not so much related to night flights, but to internet based consultation as I think this is almost certain to become a major factor in the workings of democracy.

    3. In this instance, since I consider this consultation a complete irrelevance, there is no figure that would be significant. It is almost as bad as unions who call strikes on the strength of a majority of the fifteen percent of their members who bother to vote.

      On this, even if TDC had any decision making authority on the airport issue which they don't, your figures of 2,275 out of the 39,000 who voted last time, still only represents 5.8% which is hardly a mandate for anything. Like I said previously, just a waste of time and money.


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