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.

CAA map of East Kent potentially affected by Manston’s flightpaths.

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 director Tony Freudmann at a Save Manston Airport Association meeting . Watch from 12m 30s to 13m 40s and hear Mr Freudmann say he will be restricting flightpath consultations.

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:


Some of the proposed flightpaths out of Manston cargo hub development which could affect up to 30 towns across East Kent



Manston airport in East Kent is to be developed into a major international cargo hub with all-new flight paths. These maps show some of the proposed flight paths developers are requesting which will affect many populated areas of East Kent 

These proposals have been discussed and developed behind closed doors. CARMA (Campaign Against The Reopening of Manston Airport) is asking for transparency on consultations so that all those potentially affected can understand the environmental impact of the airport development. 

Current proposals reveal over 30 East Kent locations which are at risk of being impacted by Manston’s proposed flightpaths. The routes shown here are taken from the most recent consultation documents.

Areas at risk include: Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs, Sandwich, Deal, St Nicholas at Wade, Sturry, Ash, Wingham, Herne Bay, Beltinge, Swalecliff, Cliffsend, Eastry, Betteshanger, Sarre, Preston, Shottendon, Challock, Kingsdown, Folkestone, Birchington, St Peters, North Foreland, Cliftonville, Westgate, St Margaret At Cliffe, Fordwich, Wickhambreaux, South Foreland, Monkton, Chillenden and Canterbury.

The next stage of consultations will get under way in September.

If you, or your council representative, weren’t consulted and feel that you should be, please sign our petition – click here – to ask the Civil Aviation Authority for more transparency over the consultations for the development of the new Manston flight paths. Alternatively ask your local councillor to contact [email protected] with any concerns.

To download the latest flightpath proposal document from the airport developers click the red button below.


Flight frequency

Manston has permission to develop 64,000 air traffic movements a year, which is 176 flights a day or around 10 flights an hour. There is currently no limit on the number late arrivals at night. 

Flight paths

A normal flight path corridor can be up to 14km wide. The flight path corridors (red lines) on these maps demonstrate a width of approx 1km. Manston developers admit they have no control over the exact path each aircraft eventually chooses


Cargo planes are the noisiest and most polluting types of aircraft. As a dedicated cargo hub Manston will primarily be flying planes converted to freight-only use from older passenger planes – such as the recently- retired 747s. 

Climate Change

The Manston Airport would use up 1.9% of the UK’s target CO2 emissions for 2050. Planning experts say this will seriously affect the ability of the UK Govt to meet its carbon reduction targets, and Planning Inspectors have already concluded that there is no national need for an airport development at Manston.


Experts say that anything above 85 decibels can damage your hearing.  Noise levels under previous flight Manston paths have been measured as loud as 100 db.

Please sign our online petition – click here – if you want more transparency on consultations about the new Manston flight paths so that those affected can understand the real environmental impact of the new airport proposals and development.