Reducing aircraft noise at heart of plan to reopen Manston Airport

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Manston Airport before it was closed in 2014

The company wanting to acquire Manston Airport to reopen it have published a draft Noise Mitigation Plan as it refines its proposals for the defunct site.

RiverOak Strategic Partners, which acquired all rights and interests and assumed financial and operational responsibility for the Development Consent Order to reopen the airport, which closed in May 2014, has published the draft plan, including plans to restrict the operation of noisier types of aircraft and night time operations.

The draft plan includes a quota count system to control the amount of noise from aircraft, and other measures include an insulation scheme for residential and noise sensitive properties such as schools, along with fines for individually noisy aircraft and those who stray from approved flight paths without good reason.

It is proposing a number of changes including additional parking to the east of the site, greater detail in and around the cargo facilities, addition of small business aviation hangars and helicopter stands, highway improvements including a major upgrade of the Spitfire Way/Manston Road junction, and substantially redeveloping access to the passenger terminal, amongst other proposals.

RiverOak director, George Yerrall says: “Although not the only aspect of our plans that we are seeking feedback upon, we have always been aware that the issue of noise created by the operation of a redeveloped Manston Airport would be one of the issues of principal concern for Thanet residents.”

“We understand those concerns and, in response, have decided to proactively offer a range of commitments designed to address their concerns to the extent possible.”

He adds that the Noise Mitigation Plan is not required at either consultation or application stages but will enable RiverOak to take the feedback into consideration.

RiverOak says more than 50,000 postcards have been distributed to communities in and around Herne Bay and Ramsgate as well as advertising in local and national newspapers to make local residents aware of the consultation.

Copies of consultation documents have been made available at the local libraries in Birchington, Broadstairs, Cliftonville, Herne Bay, Minster-in-Thanet, Newington, Sandwich and Westgate in electronic format, and hard copies are available in Deal, Ramsgate and Margate from 12 January.

Two events are also being held at the Comfort Inn, Ramsgate on Tuesday 23 January between 12pm and 8pm, and at the King’s Hall in Herne Bay on Wednesday 24 January between 12pm and 8pm.

The statutory consultation documents are available to view here (opens in new tab).