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Agenda Item 21

Subject:

Manston Airport Proposals for Night-Time Flying Activity Head of Planning & Regeneration These matters are within the authority of the Executive Key

Director/Head of Service: Decision Issues: Decision type:

Classification:

This report is open to the public.

CCC Ward(s):

Responses were received from across the district, but the majority of responses were from Heron, Reculver and West Bay wards. This report sets out the background issues relating to the potential additional night-time flights at Manston Airport. The consultation has been carried out and comments have been invited by Infratil the operator of the airport. The report sets out the views from the City Council and the relevant technical information surrounding this consultation and a response to the consultation.

Summary:

To Resolve

1. That the comments and issues raised in this report are forwarded to Infratil Airports ; 2. That the City Council objects to the additional night flights at Manston Airport and this is the formal response to the consultation.

Next stage in process

Forwarding of comments

SUPPORTING INFORMATION 1. Introduction The operators of Manston Airport have prepared proposals for additional night-time flying activity at the airport. This takes the form of introducing a series of quotas. The night-time period at Manston would be defined as between 23.00 hrs and 07.00 hrs and with additional restricted operations during a further period between 23.30 hrs and 06.00 hrs local time. The total number of aircraft movements permitted during the night-time quota count would not exceed 659 per year. The system of noise quotas is also being proposed based on aircraft landing and taking off and these will be defined by something called a quota count (QC).

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This item was not included in the Forthcoming Decision List due to the timescale of the airports consultation and that of Thanet district Council. 2. Detail The view taken by Thanet District Council is that this change in night-time flying operation does not constitute an issue in which the planning agreement for the airport would change. Thanet council have sought views and comments on the airports proposals. With this in mind Thanet District Council launched a 28 day public consultation period which closed on the 2 March 2012. This was to gauge public reaction to the proposals and also to inform the response which Thanet Council would make to the airport. Separate to this the airport has also written to the City Council with an accompanying newsletter (attached). The airport are seeking comments on their proposals and had encouraged individuals to respond to the consultation initiated by Thanet District Council. The newsletter also asks for comments directly and thoughts on the proposed night-time flying policy. With this in mind and the consultation undertaken by Thanet District Council this report sets out a response to these new airport operating procedures. Response to Consultation The attached annexe sets out comments made by our residents to the Thanet District Council initiated consultation. As can been seen from the schedule the majority of comments oppose the idea of additional night-time flying activity. Overall results In total 230 responses were received from residents living in the Canterbury district. The final representations have been analysed, and they suggest that there is strong opposition to the introduction of night flights at Manston:

Response to proposals Oppose Support Unclear whether the respondent is in overall support or opposition Total Support for proposals

Number 184 42 4 230

Percentage 80% 18% 2% 100%

The key reasons for supporting the proposals were: 1. 2. Boost to the economy/ job creation/ economic growth/regeneration The potential for an increase in new routes for passenger services

Opposition to proposals The key reasons for opposition are:

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Loss of sleep and the impact on health, wellbeing and educational attainment Intolerable noise levels/ vibrations Economic benefits overstated/ unrealistic/ wouldnt create jobs The type of plane - noisy cargo planes The airport is not being used to capacity so why fly at night? Not against the expansion of Manston but night flights unacceptable Potential for a new airport in the Thames Estuary will Manston be viable long term?

As might be expected, the majority of responses opposing night flights came from the three coastal wards to the east of the Canterbury district. Responses from Heron, Reculver and West Bay wards accounted for around 80% of all responses opposing the proposals, with half of the opposition responses coming from Reculver ward alone: Ward Reculver Heron West Bay Airport Activity The City Council has been supportive over the years of the airport and in particular the potential economic benefit it can provide both for East Kent as a whole and for local employment. It is recognised that airports can provide a boost to economic activity both for direct employment and also for substantial indirect and concealed jobs and the high value contracts awarded to local companies in the supply chain to service the airport. This is both in the construction of facilities on the airport, the servicing of aircraft, improved connectivity to East Kent and the supply chain activity. Manston itself could help to achieve the aspirations we have sought in terms of knowledge based employment and investment. An airport could also enhance the accessibly into the area and enable faster arrival and departure to support inward investment. Development initiatives such as the airport can also help improve the sustainability of the areas employment particularly in the light of the challenges faced post Pfizers closure and the ongoing challenges to public sector employment in East Kent. Having said that the debate locally and the position taken by the City Council has been tempered by the need to ensure that the impact of the operations of flights in particular are monitored and balanced against the overall potential benefit. We have been lobbying for an assessment of potential take off and landing routes to the airport to be clarified and in particular the potential to avoid flights over the Herne Bay area, potentially routing flights over the sea. There also has been activity to promote real time recording of flight activity to ensure that the various agreements on direction and height of approach and departure are monitored and enforced. The particular emphasis has been on economic activity directly linked to passenger numbers and a lot of debate has flowed from the potential economic activity resulting Number (n) 94 30 22 Percentage of all opposition responses 51% 16% 12%

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from this. The current debate however over night-time flying is largely linked with the freight operations from the airport and in particular perishable goods which the operators argue do need to be brought in at night and widen the agreed scheduled period. Linked to this Thanet District Council commissioned a study by a company called Parsons Brinkerhoff to assess the policy and also the potential benefits and impacts. In terms of economic impact the independent study supported the overall approach and values used by the airport. However it did raise queries about the potential for significant employment and economic impact and sought more evidence on the threshold whereby Manston airport achieves a specified level of throughput and additional employment. In terms of noise impacts the consultants concluded that they felt under estimations of the potential adverse impacts on residents were assumed by the airport operators. As stated in the proposed policy, aircraft are grouped into QC bands depending on their noise performance the noisier aircraft falling into the higher QC bands. Aircraft are rated using a measure called EPNdB (the effective perceived noise in decibels). Bands of EPNdB are assigned a Quota Count. QC 16 is over 101.9 EPNdB QC8 99-101.9 EPNdB QC4 96-98.9 EPNdB QC2 93-95.9 EPNd QC1 90-92.9 EPNdB QC0.5 less than 90 EPNdB QC0 less than87 EPNdB The value of the bands doubles every 3 decibels to reflect the nature of noise measurement - a doubling in noise energy for every 3decibel increase. Research has shown that halving the noise energy (reducing it by 3 dB) by no means halves the perceived noise. For noise to sound half as loud the noise level must be reduced by about 10dB. The proposed system for Manston states that aircraft movements greater than Quota Count 4 will be prohibited during 2300 to 0700. Appendix B accompanying the proposal quotes night noise limitations for 2010 at other airports, however at London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted there are additional restrictions between 23.30 and 0600 and aircraft greater than QC2 can not be scheduled for take off or landing. At Bristol an aircraft with a QC of 4 or above shall not normally be allowed to take off or land between 2300-0600. 3. Relevant Council Policy The Councils Corporate Plan promotes the need for economic development and the support of jobs within the district. The City Council is one of the signatories to the East Kent Local Investment Plan, which recognises the importance of Manston Airport. 4. Consultation planned or undertaken Consultation undertaken by Thanet District Council and comments sought from Infratil.

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5. Options available with reasons for suitability To forward the comments as set out in the conclusion. Forward other comments as agreed by members. Not to respond to the consultation. 6. Reasons for supporting option recommended, with risk assessment As set out in the report. 7. Implications (a) (b) Financial Implications - none Legal Implications - none

Other implications (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) (l) 8. Staffing/resource- within existing resources Property Portfolio - none Environmental/Sustainability potential noise related impacts Planning/Building Regulations - none Human Rights issues as per the relevant legislation Equalities - none Crime and Disorder - none Biodiversity - none Safeguarding Children - none Energy efficiency - none

Conclusions Conclusion whilst in principle supporting the continued role that Manston Airport can provide in the economic well being of East Kent, the City Council considers that the potential for adverse impact on residents of this night-time flying proposal is not justified. The Council will therefore wish the method of operation to be kept to the current one and that further discussions are held regarding the monitoring of nighttime flying activity. Contact Officer: Ian Brown Telephone: 862193