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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December, 2004, 08:50 GMT
Night flights 'opposed by most'
EUjet plane
The council says 'loud, noisy planes' are not on the agenda
Campaigners claim 80% of people living near Kent International Airport are opposed to plans for night flights.

Pete Binding, from the Manston Airport Group, said residents wanted jobs created at the airport but wanted flights to be kept to the daytime.

Thanet council is expected to discuss night flight proposals on 13 January.

On Wednesday, council leader, Cllr Sandy Ezekiel, said the authority supported the airport, but that "loud, noisy planes" were not on the agenda.

People want the jobs, but you shouldn't be allowed to create jobs at the expense of other people
Pete Binding

But Mr Binding said: "It most certainly is on the agenda."

He claimed a recent survey had found that 80% of people opposed night flights and were concerned about noise.

"People want the jobs," he said.

"But you shouldn't be allowed to create jobs at the expense of other people."

Rescue package

PlaneStation, owner of the airport and budget airline EUJet, announced plans for night-time flights last week along with a 30m rescue package for its business.

The company has lost more than 6m during its first year.

PlaneStation has said the investment will safeguard the airport and airline for two years.

In its first year of operation, EUJet hoped for half a million passengers but attracted 71,000 in the three months after leisure flights began in September.

Cargo business also fell by 33% after a major freight operator pulled out in August citing increasing costs.

PJ McGoldrick, managing director of the airline, said the company expected to see 800,000 passengers flying out of the airport next year.


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