Manston Airport night flights 'would bring 3,000 jobs'

Kent International Airport
Image caption Thanet council asked the airport for more information on the economic impact of night flights

More than 3,000 jobs could be created if Manston Airport, in Kent, operates night-flights, a study has said.

The study was commissioned by the airport after Thanet District Council requested more information on the economic impact of night flights.

Chief Executive Charles Buchanan said the airport would have to apply for a "noise quota" which would set out how many aircraft could fly at night.

Campaigners have set up an online petition opposing night flights.

The study was carried out by consultants York Aviation MLP.

Airlines 'won't come'

Mr Buchanan said attracting airlines to the airport was key to its success.

He added: "If we can't provide the flexibility for them to operate their aircraft all day and into some hours of the night then they will go and serve other airports. They won't come and serve Manston.

"We need some ability to handle aircraft at night. We've said this consistently."

Mr Buchanan said if the airport reached its target of more than two million passengers by the end of the decade and more than 150,000 tonnes of freight, the airport would employ about 2,000 people and there would be another 1,000 jobs in the wider economy.

An online campaign, called No Night Flights, has been set up against the airport's plan to lengthen daytime flying by 90 minutes and allow night flights within certain noise limits.

Campaigners have claimed the move would allow 24-hour arrivals and departures of "the noisiest freight we currently get".

The petition said: "The noise from any flights in the eight hours between 11pm and 7am is far more intrusive and disruptive than at any other time of day.

"Night flights would reduce the quality of life for everyone within earshot of the flight path."

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