CARMA has uncovered evidence that flightpath consultations with East Kent residents affected by the cargo hub at Manston Airport are not being conducted openly, contrary to CAA rules.
This map on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website shows the area across East Kent potentially impacted by Manston Airport’s proposed new flight paths. Under CAA rules airports have to liaise with all parties (known as stakeholders) affected, or potentially affected, by environmental and noise issues.
CARMA has uncovered a video of Manston Airport director Tony Freudmann which shows he is restricting consultations to a select group of people.
Up to 30 East Kent towns and villages could be affected. Yet Mr Freudmann says that he will be holding public consultations in just two of those locations.
Filmed at an invite-only meeting with Thanet MPs Craig Mackinlay and Sir Roger Gale, Mr Freudmann says he intends to consult with “fans” of the airport and adds he will only enter into dialogue with people “who are genuinely interested in the impact of the airport as opposed to it not happening at all.”
This is contrary to CAA rules known as The Gunning Principles which state: “The airspace change sponsor [Manston] must enter the consultation with an open mind and take all views into consideration.”
CAA rules add: “Failure to deliver an open, fair, transparent and effective consultation will result in the sponsor [Manston] having to re-consult.” This would mean having to scrap the entire process.
Manston Airport was granted planning permission by the Govt against advice from aviation experts and its own Planning Inspectorate which investigated the site and concluded that the airport was not needed and would “have a material impact on the ability of Government to meet its carbon reduction targets”.
As well as this video, CARMA has also obtained evidence from key stakeholders – including two East Kent councillors and several community organisations – who say they have either been ignored or actively rebuffed by airport developers RSP on the CAA flightpath process. One of them, The Ramsgate Society, has now filed a complaint directly with the CAA.
Chairman John Walker says: “The Ramsgate Society is a member of the long standing and distinguished civic society movement with 700 members. RSP held two meetings in Ramsgate on 5th November under the banner “Design Principles Focus Group”. The Ramsgate Society was not invited to be represented at either session.”
CARMA has also been made aware of a press ban on flight path reporting, after a journalist was ejected from one of the focus groups by Mr Freudmann who threatened to halt the consultation unless the reporter was thrown out.
If you have evidence of Manston Airport not being transparent, contact us at [email protected]
The CARMA online petition, asking for more transparency on Manston’s proposed flightpaths, is now past 1,000 signatures, double its original target. If you haven’t signed please go to: