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« Manston closure full of surprises | Main | Airport CEOs upbeat »


OK folks, let's get a grip before hysteria takes hold.

There have been mutterings in the undergrowth for a while, and now ITV Meridian are obediently repeating the carefully leaked PR drivel. BAWC are going to save the whole of south-east England from flight congestion by, er, moving their flights from one part of the south-east to another.

Hmmm... well, first of all, we've been here before. In February 2009, BAWC pounced on an unsuspecting and unprepared TDC and tried to bounce them into allowing BAWC to schedule night flights if they moved their operation from Stansted to Manston.

TDC complied almost immediately, and were left looking a bit daft when BAWC pulled out just a few weeks later in mid-March 2009. It turned out (as some had suspected) that this had been no more than a ploy on BAWC's part to screw better terms out of Stansted - they were re-negotiating their contract at the time. I wonder if it was a three year contract?

Anyway, fast forward three years, and here we are, déjà vu-ing all over again - BAWC are, allegedly, showing an interest in Manston. The talk is of them "moving their operations". Nobody has so far suggested that BAWC would be buying Manston.

Three years ago, the main spin was jobs, with the then Leader of TDC Sandy Ezekiel (whatever happened to him?) repeating BAWC's line that some 200 jobs would be created. This time round, however, the spin and hype is much more grandiose - by moving to Manston, BAWC will free up so much capacity at Stansted that the south-east will have no need of third runways or estuary airports. Marvellous!

Working on the assumption that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is, I had a look at BAWC's use of Stansted. Their online timetables show that Stansted is used for long-haul freight - these are the departures:

STN Monday 08:30 CGN Monday 10:50
STN Monday 08:30 MAD Monday 15:10
STN Monday 08:30 JNB Tuesday 04:40
STN Monday 08:30 NBO Wednesday 00:05
STN Monday 11:35 DMM Monday 21:10
STN Monday 11:35 DXB Tuesday 01:25
STN Monday 11:35 PVG Tuesday 23:00
STN Wednesday 14:35 FRA Wednesday 17:00
STN Wednesday 14:35 ORD Wednesday 21:15
STN Wednesday 14:35 ATL Thursday 02:15
STN Wednesday 14:50 ZAZ Wednesday 18:10
STN Wednesday 14:50 BAH Thursday 04:25
STN Wednesday 14:50 HKG Thursday 18:20
STN Thursday 10:25 CGN Thursday 12:45
STN Thursday 10:25 DEL Friday 06:15
STN Thursday 10:25 HKG Friday 15:45
STN Thursday 19:45 FRA Thursday 22:00
STN Thursday 19:45 PVG Friday 23:59
STN Friday 10:20 DXB Friday 21:20
STN Friday 10:20 HKG Saturday 10:10
STN Saturday 11:50 FRA Saturday 14:15
STN Saturday 11:50 ATL Sunday 00:15
STN Saturday 15:45 FRA Saturday 18:15
STN Saturday 15:45 HKG Sunday 16:55
STN Sunday 03:10 FRA Sunday 05:40
STN Sunday 03:10 ORD Sunday 09:50
STN Sunday 03:10 IAH Sunday 14:05
STN Sunday 17:50 FRA Sunday 20:20
STN Sunday 17:50 DEL Monday 17:15


The arrivals look like this:

ATL Thursday 04:15 STN Thursday 17:05
ATL Sunday 02:15 STN Sunday 15:05
IAH Sunday 18:30 STN Monday 09:15
ORD Wednesday 23:15 STN Thursday 17:05
ORD Sunday 11:50 STN Monday 09:15
BOM Saturday 18:05 STN Saturday 22:10
DAC Thursday 00:40 STN Thursday 08:00
DAC Friday 23:40 STN Saturday 07:00
DEL Thursday 04:30 STN Thursday 08:00
DEL Saturday 03:30 STN Saturday 07:00
MAA Wednesday 07:10 STN Wednesday 12:20
MAA Friday 00:40 STN Friday 06:00
MAA Saturday 07:55 STN Saturday 13:05
MAA Sunday 23:20 STN Monday 04:30
Middle East & Africa
JNB Tuesday 19:10 STN Wednesday 11:15
NBO Wednesday 02:05 STN Wednesday 11:15
Far East
HKG Wednesday 20:15 DAC Wednesday 22:40
HKG Wednesday 20:15 STN Thursday 08:00
HKG Thursday 20:20 STN Friday 06:00
HKG Friday 19:15 STN Saturday 07:00
HKG Saturday 12:10 STN Saturday 22:10
HKG Sunday 18:55 STN Monday 04:30
PVG Wednesday 01:10 STN Wednesday 12:20
PVG Saturday 02:15 STN Saturday 13:05


However, and it's a big however, I really don't see how relocating this number of flights from Essex to Kent would remove the (alleged) need for a £50 billion mega-airport in the Thames.

So, dear reader, two little twists of spin to loook out for whenever this story pops up:

  1. Jobs: 58 flights a week isn't that much more than Manston is currently handling - averaging 38 flights a week in 2011. Manston has told the government that it could handle double the current freight tonnage (and 750,000 passengers) with just 23 extra staff. Promises of hundreds of jobs resulting from BAWC's presence should be taken with a large pinch of salt - it's just as well we're so near the sea and salt is plentiful.
  2. Congestion: judging by their timetable, BAWC doesn't seem to be such a large operation that moving it from one county to another would shift the national strategic aviation requirements for the coming decades.

Reader Comments (75)

Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSLIN JIM
Same old Airport luvvie mantra, Is the CAA and the Government that gullible, I guess they are, and of course Gale who would have any old cowboys in at Manston.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSlimn' jim pickings yeh ha
Hmmmph, I don't give a toss what you think, I'm just helping my chum Bonkers Boris out of a political fix in his race to be elected as Mayor of London!
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSir Toger Pale
3 departures and 3 arrivals within the traditional night period. I'm sure the Delhi, Mumbai and HK arrivals could be rescheduled - each has a "twin" arrival during the week that arrives outside the night period. Ditto the 0310 departures, although these three take offs at this time on a Sunday morning seems a little bit unneighbourly.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
Another thought. If BAWC did want to move from Stansted wouldn't you have thought that Southend would have been a more sensible place to go? Plenty of capacity, railway line right into the heart of the airport, good road connections.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
I hate to point this out but Manston does not have planning permission for scheduled night-flights and a protracted legal battle will ensue if TDC tries to slip this through the back-door. It will be relatively straightforward to obtain an injunction preventing BAWC from moving to Manston until the planning issue is sorted out. As with the Heathrow case, that battle could go all the way to the European courts. I trust BAWC is aware of this. I'd hate to see them s=wasting time and money on something that is a non-starter.

As for Gale, Ihe is only making these comments because he isn't going to be standing for re-election. If he had to get votes from all of the villages which will be adversely affected he wouldn't be nearly so outspoken. Let's hope they abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected second chamber, before he gets there. We could do without yet another journeyman sitting on the red benches telling us all what we should think.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
I've got a fantastic idea. You know we've got a cargo operation, conveniently situated to the North East of London where goods can be easily transported to and from the rest of the country? Let's move it to a pokey little peninsula in the far South-East, from where it will take us an hour (minimum) to get to the Darford tunnels and another hour (or two) to get round to the M1. Meanwhile anybody else who wants to start up a cargo operation can use one of the more convenient and better developed airports, like Birmingham or Coventry. Obviously, we'll lose market share but we could address this by converting from a commercial company into a charity. Who needs money anyway?

It's a no-brainer i.e. an idea put forward by somebody with no brain.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
A simple question for Gale and anybody else who thinks this is a great idea. Will you be backing it with your own money?

I can see no reason why the taxpayer should have to continue to fund the ridiculous pipe-dreams of these puffed-up caricatures.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
Igloo. Spot on. It is at least 1 hour to the M25 plus who knows how long to get round it. I'm sure logistics firms avoid the greater London carpark whenever they can - it must add millions to their operating costs.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
Well well, Mr Igloo chucking his weight around, stomping around in his small jackboots and threatening legal action, he really is coming to the fore now and showing his true bully boy colours. Obviously the BAWC threat has got you running scared Mr I but I would be very careful who you take on you don't want your fingers burnt again do you? Getting turned over once must have been bad enough but twice . . . .
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Afternoon Tim, nice to know you are still demonstrating your ignorance of all things aviation with the Southend suggestion
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Mummy let you out to play then?
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
Seem to remember that BA ran away when its cabin staff got a bit shirty. Don't really see them wanting to get embroiled in another PR disaster.
You haven't named names yet Gerry. Time to bow out or grow a pair.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
Oh Dear, unlike you I use my real name rather than hide behind a nom de guerre. You have absolutely no idea what my knowledge of aviation may or may not be but one thing is for sure. Unless you are Charles Buchanan (and if you are you are wasting your company's time playing around on this blog) you have no more knowledge of Infratil's plans than I do. I support a productive use of this site; whether it is an airfield, race track, film studio or leisure facility is immaterial as long as it exercises a measure of neighbourliness, something that Infratil have failed to demonstrate since they arrived.
I like the film studio idea; look at all the credits at the end of a film; plenty of employment there.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
Dear, Oh Dear,
Calm down Dear. This is the only airline that's coming to Manston and it really is fictional!
Oh Dearie, Dearie me!
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter'eastcliff
Someone remind me again where Infratil's 23 jobs confession can be found.

[HBM: at the top of Page 6 of KCC's "secret" Regional Growth Fund bid]

Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
It is obvious you have zero knowledge of aviation matters Timothy, so to show my caring side to someone who is obviously struggling to keep up I can recommend a few books which at least will give you a basic insight into the subject
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Go on then
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
I must confess, I have read many of Oh Dear's postings, and it had never occurred to mne that he had knowledge of aviation matters. Someone told me that he didn't spend much time in school, so I didn't even realise that he could read.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
Still waiting for those books you recommended Oh Dear.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
THE AIRPORT BUSINESS by Rigas Doganis but fear that it might be far too advanced for a simple soul to take onboard (did you see what I did there)
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Well googled - shame it's over 20 years old
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
Except i didn't need to, thought I would start you off on something that was better suitedto your age group
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Even Rigas Doganis can't do anything about the slump in the airline business...look what's happening to EasyJets shares: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/easyjet

It's just not that easy anymore is it Oh Dear?
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter'eastcliff
Usual inability to avoid contradictions. In your first post on this you say "but fear that it might be far too advanced for a simple soul to take onboard" thereby implying that I'm not bright enough to understand this work. Then just now you say "thought I would start you off on something that was better suited to your age group", obviously implying that this is a simple and easy to understand document for someone who you obviously consider is educationally subnormal.
If I were you I'd give up. It's must be long past your bedtime sonny.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
Sorry you find all of this difficult to comprehend which was the point I was making. "Sonny " rather suggests to me that you like Igloo are losing it. calm down old chap and save your energy for when Goliath turns up but this time the small insignificants get swept aside.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clark
Just so this is VERY clear.

The airport can, without any council go-ahead, start night flights.
The airport wants to keep a good relationship with the local council and residents.
The VERY small minority of objectionable residents have a website that considers nothing but small-mindedness.

Let the area use the resources it has...it doesn't have many.

[HBM: "keep"?]
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAirport Authority
It's VERY clear, but VERY stupid.
Sat, March 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter'eastcliff
Just so this is VERY VERY clear.

They 'CAN' start something but that does not mean that it has to be accepted, remember that!

Nearly 1000 households objected to night flights!

Flying 747s at 300ft off roof tops with just 4mm piece of slate tile between me and my bed and the 890,000 lbs aircraft with 4 General Electric CF6-80s/44,700 lbs each generating a thunderous 100db of noise at 3am in the morning. Disagreeing the prospect of that is NOT BEING A TYPICAL NIMBY!!

And before some parasite spouts "You moved there yada yada yada poooo". Before buying my house the solicitor search revealed that night flights were banned and extremely unlikely due to basic human rights to sleep at night and a 106 agreement to protect residents.

And before some parasite spouts "You can move yada yada yada poooo". It costs 10s of thousands of pounds to sell up and move!! Who would buy a house that you can not sleep in? Anyway why the f#%k should I have to move?

After being labelled a NIMBY by some guy whilst discussing the night flight situation with a few friends. He then proceeded to tell us about how he managed to stop the council building houses on a field at the back of his garden by getting a protection order for some fricking trees!!!?? The guy was such an idiot like most of the 'NIMBY' screamers that he failed to realise that he was in fact a total selfish NIMBY hypocrite.

My message to any new airport buyer that attempts such a disgusted anti-social scheme. You WILL face a major public backlash!! FACT!
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames
Yes - let the airport use the resources it has - the daytime empty runway! Again and again the pro night flight patrol skirt this obvious fact and delude themselves further into the chasm of dreams that Manston will save the Thanet economy!

The clue is in the name - No NIGHT flights. Day flights are not the objection.

If Infratil have failed then it is nobodys fault but their own. Many people think Night flights will cost more to Thanet than it will generate. We have a track record of business failure to use as evidence for our argument. All Infratil have is a bit of Tarmac they can't persuade anyone to land on and PR exaggeration to back this up and persuade professional politicians (likely without any real world business expertise) to give them the freedom to do anything they want!

As the airport has repeatedly failed to make economic sense over the last 10 years or so, I thinks it's time TDC considered subsidising something else! Get real - Get ON YER BIKES!

Anybody who suggests we should roll over and be grateful for the opportunity to blight the lovely towns of Ramsgate or Herne bay either has a conflict of interest or is on an aviation-based pay roll!

They blew up the cooling towers today! I see this as a tipping point where Thanet starts to realise the best asset it has is it's environment! The sacrifice of that for some weak business model is the stupidest and narrow minded idea I think I've ever heard of!
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick
Well said Nick and James!
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter'eastcliff
"The airport can, without any council go-ahead, start night flights"

That's not what the lawyers say. But I guess they don't know what they are talking about?
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
"Well well, Mr Igloo chucking his weight around, stomping around in his small jackboots and threatening legal action."

Presumably, the reference to jackboots is intended to imply that I am behaving like one of Hitler's brownshirts. I just wonder who the jackbooted character really is. Is it the person who says that they will go to court to defend their "right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions?" Or is it the thuggish loudmouth, who tells everyone that they are having night-flights whether they like it or not, and if they don't like it they should move? You decide.
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
What's this "very small minority of objectionable residents" bullSh*te?

Can someone please point me in the direction of the pro night flight website? I'd like to read the thousands of comments and posts which give good solid arguments to why night flights would be a good thing for Thanet and it's residents.
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEarplugz
After the "spectacular" of blowing-up the Richborough Towers today, I think the council could be onto an entertainment and tourism winner.

They should ask the public to vote for other Thanet structures they'd like to see demolished similarly.

I think nearly a thousand feet of concrete, transformed into hardcore, would be a good start and perhaps bombing it at night could reignite the spirit of the blitz!
Sun, March 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter'eastcliff
Earplugz why would you need " the pro night flight website" when about 95% of Thanet support the airport. They switch the engines off up at the airport and you can still here the whining from you lot. You chose the bed, now lie in it - QUIETLY please.

[HBM: Oh Dear posted this at 2:26am]
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Yeah whatever Oh dear. Keep talking b@ll@cks you total dimwit.
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEarlpugz
95% of Thanet support night flights according to an independent report commissioned by his imagination. With made up figures like that he must be on the Infratil payroll as they have that familiar whiff of the bigger the lie the less likely people will question it's logic!

This has echoes of the Lehman brothers tactic when they collapsed - give us what we want or the world will end! Yes the same type of grandiose sense of self importance when they had failed and were begging to be saved by the tax payer!
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick
HBM: Oh Dear posted this at 2:26am
Er . . .And?
And Nick, Oh Dear! What are you on about? Maybe you should climb out from behind the oversized ego and go and mingle with the Thanet massive. The REAL people of Thanet, not the minute number of middle classes who congregate here and whose many chins wobble with indignation at the sheer effrontery of an airport going about its business. Leahman Brothers indeed, Christ, this is all getting very desperate.
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
Thank god Manston is not an incontinence pad factory as Oh dear would have an opinion on that and of course discharge consents!
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNew Zealand duck
What am i on about? Most people of any class can comprehend when they read. If you understand idioms like 'the writings on the wall' or enjoy corporate history you'll know exactly what I'm on about.

Here are some more questions for you that your unlikely to answer:
Truth or not - did Infratil beg to the tune of £9 million off business link last year - aka the tax payer?
Truth or not - have Infatil lost to the tune of £3-4 million per year at Manston?

Now a puzzle:
If you multiply the net loss per year with years in operation at Manston what figure do you have? Probably some nice figures that creative accountants can hide in New Zealand via the Cayman Islands somewhere!

I am an employer based in Ramsgate but I don't want any favors of TDC as it appears in this whole debacle that TDC is not the solution to the problem - it is part of it!

However unlike Infratil I'll soon be advertising to employ a third job in the area as my small contribution to the Thanet economy.

If indeed you do work at the airport at a manual job or are on some sort of passive income from the airport (maybe even share holder) I suggest you research a working class hero like Lord Tebbit: On yer Bike! Infratil are getting ready to bolt in case you had not read the news!

I don't enjoy anyone's misfortune of potential unemployment. However I'll stick with the free market model of compassionate or even responsible capitalism. The people from the airport who may lose their jobs will be able to do what the people from Pfizer (some are my friends) have and are doing - find other employers! It's jungle out there but there is no point blaming the middle classes as you seem to love to do!

If the airport does succeed in the future I'll enjoy its success if it operates in the day. If it flies at night I will complain again because it will affect my family and employees I work with. Quid pro quo! Common sense does not seem to be one of your strong points, thought you are very persistent and that I'll credit you for!

Love you - I think I'll buy my ice creams somewhere else now, as they are not so bitter at other places!
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick
Thank you for the loquaciousness of your reply Nick, and unlike some of the pompous arses that congregate around here, I quite like the cut of your jib sir.

Of course being a simple ice cream operative I have failed to grasp any of it as I am only capable of thought when fashioning a Mr Whippy and adorning it with a chocolate flake and, if your very lucky, sprinkles! Oh and would you like that in a traditional or sugar cone?

It's good to see that you are not one of those who masquerade as a No Night Flights supporter when like many on here they are so totally anti Manston they would have it shut down at all costs.

It'll all come out in the wash pretty soon anyway and maybe won't be as bad as what many fear
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOh Dear
So, there you have it folks. No need for the lawyers, planning consultants or environmental specialists. Just listen to the ice-cream salesman and everything will be OK.
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
Igloo - Isn't that what they said about Silvio Berlusconi? :o)
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick
Oh dear reminds me of an historical blog poster who went under the name of 'stop the loonies'. This particular individual had the same smart-arse tone as Oh Dear, and had plenty of time on their hands as they were employed at the airport so obviously not busy.

This particular individual went off the air when his real name was rumbled.

Oh dear is not Gerry. Oh dear is............
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReal Ramsgate resident
Why would anyone in their right mind want a cargo plane fly over their house in the middle of the night.
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
Do they sell ice-cream at the airport?
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgloo
Any chance a mod can post Oh Dear's IP address. Let just say that after working in IT for 35 years I have gained some rather special contacts.

Let's reveal the clown behind the mask. ;)

[HBM: looks like dynamic IP addresses, within ranges - any good to you?]
Mon, March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames

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