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Manston Ba night fligts   |   Kent International Airport Variation to s.106 Agreement   |   Report-KentInternationa lAirport, Nighttimenoise Policy   |   Banightfligts   |   vortex 1   |   Vortex 2   |   Vortex 3   |   Title 9

Kent International Airport Variation to s.106 Agreement
Background
KIA has been actively negotiating with a significant long haul European air freight carrier with a view to re-locating an existing air cargo operation from its existing hub to KIA.  The commencement of this activity at KIA would have the effect of delivering approximately 400 employment opportunities to the area.
Until the end of February when the operator will be in a position to confirm the contract with Infratil, it is not possible to name the carrier.  The airline is a significant operator which will be a new entrant to KIA.
On Thursday the 29th of January a meeting was held during which the final key points for agreement were discussed.  During this meeting, it was noted that the aircraft operator is required to make a decision urgently, and is not in a position to award the business to KIA without assurance that the restrictions on night-time flying can be modified as required to physically enable the operation.  If a contract is agreed in February flights may start as early as May, and not later than October 2009.
The cargo operation concerned operates scheduled cargo services, with several flights required to be scheduled to arrive or depart KIA between 0600 and 0700.  The operator needs the ability to schedule flights up to 2330 in line with operational hours in place at the competitor airport.
The airport operator requests the adoption of a variation in line with the S106 agreement such that this operation would be permitted to go ahead.  Enabling this activity would establish the base for a sustainable airport at Manston, along with securing a significant number of up front local employment opportunities.

Nature of Activity
The proposed cargo operation would involve the re-location of an existing European air freight business to KIA.  The airport would become the centre for a globally recognised freight operator, requiring the relocation of pilots, freight forwarding staff, administration staff, logistics providers, aircraft engineers, caterers, cleaners etc.  As well as the employment activity generated by these agencies, the airport itself would employ a further 54 staff to accommodate the increased business.  Based on examples found at other UK airports, this level of activity would lead to a further 300 indirect employment opportunities.
The 11 weekly aircraft turnarounds would be scheduled to operate between the hours of 0600 and 2330, in line with the hours available at the aircraft operator's current airport in use.   The aircraft fleet employed would be 747-400 series, rated QC4 on departure and QC2 on arrival.  The nature of the shipments would be general cargo, involving consolidating, deconsolidating and logistics centres based at the airport site.
Due to the extensive project required to relocate the operation, the carrier has a requirement for certainty that during the next ten years they will be able to operate their business in a stable regulatory environment.

Details of Employment Generated
Full Time Employment generated directly by the airport would be:
Roles Created
Number of New Roles
Air traffic Control Staff
3
Rescue Fire Fighters
12
Load Masters
6
Aircraft Handlers
14
Warehouse Operatives
10
Cargo Officers
12
Airport Jobs
57
Airline/Freight Forwarder Jobs*
55
Indirect/Induced Jobs**
>300
Total Jobs Created
>412

The based aircraft operation would require the immediate employment/relocation of;
*3 administration staff, 38 pilots, 8 freight forwarders along with a host of logistics, engineering, cleaning and catering staff required to support a based airline operation.
**Using examples from other UK airports it can be shown that the additional activity at the airport will generate indirect and induced employment opportunities for over 300 further full time employees.  For example, East Midlands Airport reports that the Cargo operation of 300,000 tonnes per annum supports 2,100 indirect and induced jobs.
The influx of business relating to the new contract will also secure the future of the 150 staff already based at KIA.

Reason for selecting KIA
Air Freight carriers, like all businesses in the current economic climate are looking for more efficient ways of doing business.  KIA is a very attractive airport to both cargo and passenger operators due to the comparatively low infrastructure costs and resulting airport charges.  KIA has been identified as being a suitable location for the operation due to its physical location and access to a good labour pool.  The operator will be able to base its activity at Manston, saving time and cost, making KIA an attractive option provided that the operational environment permits the flying activity required.


Environmental Effects - Aircraft
The Environmental impacts of this operation will primarily relate to an increase in the number of flights hosted by the airport.  Currently there are on average 444 large aircraft movements at KIA per month.  The new operation will add a further 95 movements per month.  This increase, whilst significant on a proportional basis, should be considered in light of the airport's current low level of activity.  KIA is currently operating at a fraction of its potential and is not a sustainable business at current traffic levels.
As discussed above, the operator's schedule requires the movement of aircraft between the hours of 0600 and 2330 as opposed to the current KIA scheduled operating hours of 0700 - 2300.  The effect of allowing this activity will result in a low number of weekly movements taking place during these shoulder periods.  Current restrictions on night flying permit off schedule aircraft operating within these shoulder periods.  Due to the nature of aircraft activity the airport already hosts several movements per month within the night time period.  During the quarter ended December 2008, KIA hosted 14 flights between the hours of 2300 and 0700.  The airport received a total of 62 complaints from 4 people in this time.

Environmental Effects - Vehicles
With any increase in the cargo traffic using KIA, there will be an associated increase in the level of vehicle traffic using the airport and nearby roads.  Current planning permissions attached to the approval of the freight centre at the airport dictate how these increases will be accommodated.  An existing s.106 agreement requires the airport operator to implement improvements to the road access infrastructure when thresholds of cargo traffic are met.  The airport will seek to comply with these restrictions and requirements in the normal course of operating the cargo business.

Environmental Mitigation
There exists an opportunity to amend the current restrictions on runway use such that the number of aircraft overflying the town of Ramsgate is further reduced.  The airport proposes to modify the current requirement which directs the preference for Runway 28 to be used for departures (away from Ramsgate) wherever possible.  The operator proposes to implement a direction whereby night-time arrivals have a preference imposed to utilise RWY 10 (arriving from the West) weather permitting.  Due to the frequency of still wind conditions during night-time hours this mitigation will minimise the effect of night-time noise on the residents of Ramsgate as a proportion of aircraft movements will arrive from and depart to the West - avoiding the town of Ramsgate weather permitting.
The airport operator will continue the regime of reporting all night-time movements to the KIACC and to TDC.  Noise monitoring will be improved to provide the Planning Authority and the community with data and analysis of the changes in the noise climate attributable to change in the total number of aircraft movements, and in particular the movement of aircraft during the proposed shoulder periods.


Application for Variation to the s.106 Agreement
The airport operator formally applies to the Thanet District Council for permission to host scheduled aircraft movements between the hours of 0600 and 2330.  This modification to the airport operating restrictions can be achieved via an amendment to the 2000 s.106 agreement.

The variation will include the following;
i     Scheduled aircraft rated QC4 or less shall be permitted to operate during the hours of 0600 - 0700
ii     Scheduled aircraft rated QC4 or less shall be permitted to operate between 2300 - 2330 hours.
iii     All aircraft movements between 2300 - 0700 will be requested to land on Runway 10 and depart on Runway 28 subject to weather conditions.
iv     A noise monitoring regime will be put in place before the new freight carrier commences operation at KIA to capture and report data on peak noise levels and continuous sound level (Leq)
v     Statistics will be reported on a monthly basis, to enable production of 3 month reviews.
vi     The strict engine testing restrictions contained within the existing  S.106 agreement will continue to apply.
The content of the Night-time flying policy 2010 - 2018 will cover the following subjects;
i     Review of the variation with a view to confirmation of the 23.00 - 23.30 and 0600 - 0700 shoulder period operations.
ii     Revision of noise abatement routes, with a passenger and/or freight threshold at which secondary radar capability and therefore flightpath tracking is required.
iii     Incorporation of ad hoc flights to be included in the policy as well as scheduled aircraft movements
iv     Identification of any aircraft to be exempt e.g. coastguard.
v     Initial and thereafter periodic review of the QC rating of aircraft using the airport during night-time hours.
vi     Continued reporting of noise statistics, during the Night-time period
vii     Revision of the environmental penalties system recognising that the community fund has been successful in assisting residents and groups living beneath flight paths. And continues to be so.
viii     The views of the community, in particular as represented by KIA and airport users will be important, and included.
ix     Review of preferred runway usage.

          Conclusion
Infratil is meeting the Board of the aircraft operator on 12 February  and seeks a response from the Council as soon as possible


Matt Clarke
Chief Executive, Kent International Airport


               5th February 2009
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