Newsletter No 5 – August 2013
Readers will have been pleased to see Manston splashed across the headlines recently. First, when the enormous Airbus A380 landed at Manston, and then when the new Dreamliner aircraft was trialled at Manston Airport. An eye-catching view of Georgia May Jagger was shown, with three footballers pretending to pull the plane.
A Forthcoming Meeting
On Friday 18th October at 6 pm, there will be General Meeting for all Manston supporters. This will be at Bay Point, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9QL: tel: 01304 613022 Mail. The meeting will include an update on how the campaign is going, and we hope to have several distinguished speakers, including Charles Buchanan, CEO of Manston, and David Foley, CEO of East Kent and Thanet Chamber of Commerce. Members may well remember them from the AGM. We shall also tell you how you can help as supporters of our movement.
We had a stall at Thanet at War in Ramsgate on 28th July. The weather forecast for the Saturday 27th was atrocious, so we cancelled that day, and then the forecast turned out to be completely wrong! But on Sunday four Committee members manned the stall, all dressed in 1940s costume, and Allan and Ann Murray proved immensely helpful in providing us with a stall, then erecting it for us. A large number of second-hand books were available for sale, which attracted attention, and sold well. Hundreds more leaflets were handed out, more car stickers sold at £2 each, and a new luggage sticker “I’ve flown from Manston” proved very popular, and is still available free.
Don’t miss this Broadcast!
On Tuesday 10th September from 1pm-2.30pm, there will be a detailed discussion about Manston Airport on Kent Business Radio, on the show called The Business Bunker. Guests on the show include Charles Buchanan, CEO of Manston, and Nicholas Reed, Chairman of Why Not Manston? The show is not on the normal TV, but only on computer. You can click here to hear a recent show, or to listen live. The actual interviews with special guests normally start about 27 minutes past one. If you miss the show when it is live, you can get it on the computer for several weeks afterwards.
The South East Airshow at Manston
Earlier this year, we attended the South East Airshow at Manston. Battling against the elements, we distributed a large number of business cards and leaflets, with the text drafted by Martin Welch, our Treasurer. Much publicity was given to the traffic jams that built up by people driving there from West or mid-Kent: a testament to the fact that Manston is incredibly popular with the people of Kent. And indeed, some 60,000 people tried to attend the Airshow, almost all of them trying to drive to Manston by car from West Kent. Those who made it were enthralled by the many craft which flew, the star undoubtedly being the Vulcan. If some of those visitors had decided to travel by train to Ramsgate, and then take a taxi, there would have been far fewer dissatisfied people!
When the House of Commons Transport Committee delivered its conclusion about air travel in the SE, they suggested that Heathrow should be doubled, by building on the other side of the M25. The thought is horrifying. All of us already have to start off along the M25 on our two-hour crawl – but have to add an extra hour to that, to allow for traffic jams and accidents which are all too common on that motorway. Then there’s the three hour wait when you get to the airport.
But two incidents recently have served to show how much Heathrow is already creaking at the seams. The first incident was when the Dreamliner caught fire several hours after it had landed. All planes were stopped or diverted from Heathrow for an hour and a half. During that time no less than eighty planes had to change their plans or be diverted. Imagine the disruption from a similar incident, if Heathrow were doubled in size!
The second incident involved the plane on which the engine covers had not been fastened properly. The problem was immediately seen, and filmed, by passengers, but the plane continued east as far as the Thames Estuary. There they decided the trouble could not be sorted out on board, so they were told to turn back. The two nearest airports were Southend and Manston, at either of which it could easily have landed to examine the problem. Instead of that, the plane was instructed to turn round and take the normal route back to Heathrow. Shortly after turning round, smoke started coming out of the wings, but even then they kept to the flight plan and came all the way back to Heathrow, along the Thames, crossing all the most heavily populated parts of London.
We imply in our website that Heathrow is really an accident waiting to happen, and the consequences of a plane crashing along that route would be extremely serious in terms of human casualties. Around Manston, the most serious casualties are likely to be three sheep and a cow.
Lastly, for those who like the experience of flying at third hand, try watching on You-Tube “The most dangerous landing in the World – ?Bhutan” (between India and China). The last four minutes are particularly gripping!