SMAa Responds to Lie-Filled Circular

Today we became aware that Herne Bay based group ‘No Night Flights’ have arranged for a lie-filled circular to be passed through the doors of houses near Manston Airport.

This document has been seen by SMAa, and it is based upon lies and hearsay.

SMAa have produced a detailed rebuttal to the points in this document, and this can be seen here and as summarised below.

NNF ClaimThe Truth
The Council must identity enough housing to
satisfy the Government. If not the Government
won't approve our Local Plan and developers
will be free to build wherever they like.
Local Authorities decide the levels appropriate
to their areas. The current local plan remains in
force until replaced. Each planning application is
decided on its own merits with or without a
local plan in force.
12,000 to 20,000 flights plannedThe DCO is for 10,000 movements = 5,000
flights. 5000 divided by 360 (allow for 5 days
holidays etc) equals 14 flights per day. With
airport open for business between 0600 and
2300 this equates to less than one aircraft per
Almost half of air freight is shifted at nightRSP are not applying for a license for scheduled
night flights as these are not needed. Airport
staff are human and do also prefer to sleep at
nights. Frankfurt does not permit night flights
(only operating between 0500 and 2300) yet
still handled more than 2 million tonnes of
cargo in 2015.
Nearly all night cargo movements are
integrated, night parcels/ mail. They are
scheduled, short haul and very , very light
weights, operated by modern, quiet aeroplanes,
a lot smaller than we have previously been used
to at Manston. At the moment Manston is not
planned to be a part of these hub and spoke
night services.
The Council proposes that 2500 homes should
go on the old Manston airport site as part of a
mixed use development.
The Council proposes no such thing. SHP have
submitted an application for outline planning
permission for such a development.
The Council has commissioned two independent
expert reports. Both say that a profitable
airport cannot be developed on that site
Neither report says any such thing.

The original Falcon Report in 2015 was only an
initial evaluation, with a limited amount of time
allowed in which to gather evidence. It did
conclude that a profitable airport on the site
would need substantial investment; not the
same thing at all as saying that an airport cannot
be profitable.

The Avia Report of 2016 was prefaced with the
caveat that it should not be should not be used
or taken as business, financial, tax, accounting,
legal or other advice.

● The work was again completed in an
unnecessarily short space of time,
having been subcontracted to an
independent consultant.
● The report made no mention of possible
links with the Port of Dover (historically
a lucrative business), and completely
ignored the impact of Brexit.
● No mention was made of either the
impact of the Paramount or Ebbsfleet
Garden City developments.
● Data used was largely out of date.
● Conclusions were based on the premise
that the third runway at Heathrow and
or second runway at Gatwick would be
open by 2025. The Transport Secretary
has told Parliament that the legal and
planning parts of this project will take at
least 10 years (until at least 2026) and
that will be followed by a period of
construction that has not been
quantified but could be as much as ten
further years.
The only way an airport could be developed at
Manston is if an American company persuades
the Government that it should be given the land
1. RiverOak Strategic Planning (RSP) is a UK
registered company. It is RSP that is
pursuing the DCO and it will be RSP that
is involved with its operation
2. The Government does not give RSP the
land. It may agree that the proposal is a
National Strategically Important Site
(NSIP) in which case the Secretary of
State will initiate a Compulsory
Purchase Order. RSP will in effect be
Indemnity Partners here, the DCO
process includes verification that they can provide the necessary funding,
If you don’t want a noisy dirty airport with 14 to
23 flights a night
Modern aircraft are neither noisy nor dirty.
Such aircraft are prohibited within the EU and
Brexit is unlikely to change this.
There will not be 14 to 23 flights a night; RSP
have said that they will not be applying for a
night flying licence and their business plan
shows that such flights are not necessary.
If 2500 houses do not go on the airport site then
new sites will have to be found for them
elsewhere in Thanet
As pointed out above, the draft Local Plan
housing allocation is not cast in stone. Using
ONS figures the new housing requirement has
been recalculated at 11,000 not 17,000, and
presently identified brownfield sites are more
than sufficient for this demand.

The original leaflet appears to have been issued by the No Night Flights group, based in Herne Bay.  One of their leading members is Ms Ros Mcintyre. It is worth remembering that on 2nd February 2015, she told the Transport Select Committee that “noise levels in excess of 1,000 decibels are recorded on Ramsgate premises.”  1000dB is probably louder than the original Big Bang that started the universe – how much reliance can you put on a leaflet produced by people who will tell a Parliamentary committee such nonsense?