Lydd/London Ashford Airport


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Airport expansion 'a threat' to nuclear power plan

A campaign group has raised concerns that the expansion of an airport would jeopardise plans for a new nuclear power station at Dungeness.

The Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) wants to prevent proposals for the extension of the runway and a new terminal at London Ashford Airport on the Romney Marsh from going ahead.

New figures revealed by the anti-airport expansion group show the airport at Lydd, which employs 54 people, is working at a loss of £1.9 million annually.

The larger Kent International Airport at Manston in Thanet, which is owned by Infratil, employs 92 people and is losing £4 million per annum, according to the figures.

LAAG’s Louise Barton said: “The figures question the viability of expansion given they cannot operate successfully at the moment.

“Even if they expand the runway in a bid to attract the short haul market, Manston, which is operationally superior, is not profitable and is not attracting the airline operators.

“But in planning terms that is not relevant because it is up to operators.

“There are lots of things at stake and lots of consequences if the expansion goes ahead. It could jeopardise the planning application for Dungeness C.”

Last week, the Government confirmed that Dungeness was a possible site for a new nuclear power station, which would provide new jobs for the area.

However, Mrs Barton said that a planning consideration for the new generation of atomic energy sites would be civil aviation activity.

LAAG and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are also concerned about the proposed expansion’s impact on local wildlife and the wider environment.

The RSPB said that expansion would harm the Dungeness to Pett Levels special protection area, which is designated for its internationally important wintering waterfowl and breeding seabird populations.

The airport is also next to the Dungeness special area of conservation, which is important for its shingle habitat and great crested newts.

LAAG believes there should only be one regional airport in Kent and it should be Manston because of its operational advantages, which include the ability to handle long and short haul flights.

Aviation consultant Malcolm Spaven found that even if Lydd Airport was expanded Manston Airport would remain operationally superior.

“CAA statistics for calendar 2008 reveal that Lydd Airport handled 1,673 passengers and Manston 11,657 passengers implying that both airports were operating at less than 1 per cent of their potential capacity based on their existing runways,” Mrs Barton added.

Cliff Spink, managing director of Lydd Airport, which is owned by Sheikh Fahad al Athel, said: “Of course this group will be entirely negative about the future, it is not in their interest to say anything else.

“I refuse to enter into a debate about the viability of Manston versus Lydd because both airports have a future based on their own business priorities.”

He added: “LAAG essentially want to stop private investment which is business madness at anytime but given the current economic situation facing the UK it strikes at the heart of the local community.

“Our investment also flows into a multitude of supporting businesses here at Lydd and gives some hope of employment for our youngsters.

“Our investment in Shepway and east Kent means jobs. How many jobs will LAAG create?”

Shepway District Council said that a decision would be made on Lydd Airport’s planning application by the end of the June at the earliest.

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A campaign group has raised concerns that the expansion of an airport would jeopardise plans for a new nuclear power station at Dungeness.
These claims by anti airport campaigners get more and more desperate as we go on, I mean, I thought tree huggers were against nuclear power stations anyway? :fool:
 

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Lydd Airport job losses

Six people are to be made redundant at Lydd Airport in Kent as part of a restructuring exercise to cut costs. The airport's owners said the current economic climate meant it could not continue to operate at a loss. They also blamed the decision to cut staff from 54 to 48 on the uncertainty over their expansion plans. Earlier this month a hearing to decide whether the airport could extend its runway and build a new terminal was postponed for the fourth time.

The airport's managing director, Jonathan Gordon, said: ‘Over the last 8 years more than £25m has been spent on the airport project and dozens of jobs were created in the process. However, in light of the current economic climate, we have been forced to take a long hard look at the finances. The slight streamlining of our operations will produce the cost savings that we need to make, but I am saddened that it means the loss of 6 jobs.'

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I wonder how much of a future these small 'up and coming' airports really have? There ability to attract new business was tough even before the recession.
 

Carl0927

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Any news from Lydd, I'm from Kent originally so I like to keep an eye on the counties only airport, now Manston has gone. I think it is just the cross channel Lydd Air services ?
 

Carl0927

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I flew from Lydd when I was a teenager, I lived in Kent then and I flew Ostend, and Beauvais with Janus Airways. I went on a Viscount and a HP Herald. I also went to Le Touquet a bit more recently , but I can't recall the airlines , think it was on a HS 748.
Has anyone any memories of this airport, maybe the days Dan Air did a coach/air service to Paris ?
 

Carl0927

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According to a report on Kentonline, Lydd could commence its runway extension during the summer of 2018. Once complete in early 2019, it will be possible for a fully laden 737 or A320 to operate from Lydd Airport.
 

Carl0927

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Bristow Helicopters will be building a permanent base at Lydd and hope to employ 30 staff for their search and rescue operation.

Runway extension work which has now been granted and is due to commence this summer and completed in early 2019.The runway will be extended by 294M plus a starter area of 150M.
 

Carl0927

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Can't see this working ??!!


Firnas Airways: How not to start an airline

PLANE CRASH TV SHOWING ONE MANS DREAM TO START AN AIRLINE WITH NO MONEY AND NO ROUTES
Jun 14, 2018 Nick Harding England, Features, Reviews
MORE ON:FIRNAS AIRWAYSREVIEWTV
https://i2.wp.com/ukaviation.news/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/firnas-team-Facebook Groups.jpg?resize=678%2C381&ssl=1

Last night Channel 4 aired a documentary called “How to start an airline” which followed one man’s dream to start an airline with no previous experience and using other peoples money.

The programme followed perfume seller turned self-styled “Halal Richard Branson” Kazi Shafiqur Rahman as he embarked on a journey to start a Sharia-compliant long-haul airline.

Kazi’s only previous aviation experience came as an aircraft cleaner at London’s City Airport (LCY/EGLC) but he has managed to bring onboard respected aviation consultant John Brayford to help guide him towards take off.

The problem for Kazi, however, is that his naivety quickly gets him into hot water by signing a lease deal on a £1m ATR aircraft with no routes to fly.

Aiming to fly the apparently underserved route between Lydd (London Ashford) Airport and Waterford Kazi effectively blew off both airports with his unique negotiating style which involved him expecting the airports to pay him £250,000 rather than the traditional route of airlines paying the airports. During negotiations, he asked Lydd Airport “so how much are you going to give us?”



Kazi was also back-tracking on his Sharia-compliant policy by this point also which saw him labelled a hypocrite by British Muslims TV’s Sisters Hour, after he went on to talk about his Sharia-compliant policy, only to tell the presenters he was probably not going to do that after all.

With no airports and no routes, Kazi has to kiss goodbye to his ATR lease effectively killing his reputation with Aircraft leasing companies.

Things were not looking great for Firnas Airways.

Thankfully John Brayford steps in and gives Kazi a wake-up call in a kebab restaurant in London during which possibly the most cringe-worthy line in the entire programme was uttered. John Brayford pointed out to Kazi that one of the airports said that they felt Kazi didn’t look as if he was there to do business to which Kazi replied: “it was Polo Ralph Lauren though”. Kazi was over an hour late to that meeting that saw Kazi like a petulant child who was being told off by his head teacher.

Enter businessman extraordinaire and former Links Air boss Jon Ibboston who after seeing an opportunity to offload one his Jetstream 31 aircraft convinced Kazi to buy the aircraft (formerly G-LNKS) which had been hangered in South Wales since Links Air had their operators certificate revoked by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Jon Ibbotson is also the pilot.

The aircraft was promptly registered onto the Guernsey-based 2 register as 2-LCXO to allow it to fly, not for commercial purposes, so investors could see it. As Ibbotson points out, even Richard Branson started off with one aircraft, the difference, of course, is that Richard Branson started with a Boeing 747 flying transatlantic. Kazi is starting with a 19 seat turboprop with no routes.

During this time Kazi was using crowd-funding to raise investment for his airline. As he points out in the programme just because he doesn’t have the money in his bank accounts he can find others who do. Effectively, wanting to start the airline with other peoples money. To date, we understand that around £400,000 has been raised.

As the programme goes on you see Kazi’s dream drop from long-haul routes to the middle east down a Jetstream 31 doing short-hop charter work. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the most common reaction on social media to the programme was the question as to whether this was a spoof.
 

Jerry

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I think one of the people behind it was behind Links Air which got closed down by the CAA. I can't see anything happening with it though.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Anyone remember Martin Halstead and Alpha One Airways and Varsity Express? At least one of his airlines actually took to the air, albeit very briefly.
 

paully

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What is it with this crowdfunding concept??..I really dont understand why otherwise rational people would commit hard earned cash to a load of chancers, dossers and dreamers..Wild horses wouldnt get me there..As for this `Airline`..total joke by a loser seeking publicity
 

Carl0927

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Search and Rescue base has opened at Lydd


Lydd Search and Rescue Helicopter Base officially opened in ceremony
Fri, 07/13/2018 - 16:25

The last purpose-built HM Coastguard helicopter base at Lydd, Kent, was opened on 12 July, marking a major milestone in the UK’s national search and rescue helicopter service. Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, officially opened the base, in a ceremony at the south coast aerodrome.

Lydd is one of 10 bases strategically located around the country in close proximity to areas where search and rescue incident rates are high. The other bases around the UK are at Sumburgh, Stornoway, Inverness, Prestwick, Caernarfon, St Athan, Humberside, Lee-on-Solent and Newquay.

Bristow Helicopters Ltd operates the search and rescue helicopter service for the UK on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, having been awarded the 10-year contract by the Department for Transport in March 2013, representing a £1.9-billion investment by the UK Government in the UK’s search and rescue helicopter service.

Richard Parkes, Director, Maritime Operations & HM Coastguard for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter crews based at Lydd have been delivering an exceptional service for the past three years out of temporary facilities. It has given me great pleasure to see them now permanently settled. I have no doubt that the addition of the state-of-the-art facilities and the new AW189 helicopters will enable the team to continue to deliver a world class service that we all can be proud of.”

The opening of Lydd is the culmination of a significant national programme of investment which has delivered modern facilities which better-equip the 31-strong team of specialist pilots, winch operators, winchman paramedics, engineers and support staff as they respond to search and rescue incidents across the UK.

Russ Torbet, Director of UK Search and Rescue at Bristow Helicopters Ltd, said: “The new bases we have now constructed give our crews access to the best facilities in terms of being prepared to go out there and do that vital, life-saving work – from the standard of living quarters available to those on-base, ready to respond; to the operations and engineering control areas which are crucial to the day-to-day running of the service.

“We also want to recognise the work Westridge Construction, the local contractor appointed to create this site, has done in maintaining the standard which was set at the six previous new bases delivered across the country, as we officially begin operations from the new facility.”

At Lydd, part of the London Ashford Airport complex, two AgustaWestland AW189 helicopters are stationed and serve the south and south-east coast of England, as well as the English Channel when called upon. The Lydd base is led by Chief Pilot Captain Neil Robertson, a former Sea King pilot whose 17-year career in the RAF saw him serve as Flight Commander at RAF Wattisham’s SAR unit.

Capt Robertson said: “Our team’s focus is always on bringing people home safely from a search and rescue operation. During day-to-day operations and throughout our year-round training programme, this new base ensures that we have the facilities and support we need to be able to maintain the incredibly high standards the UK SAR service is renowned for.”
 

Carl0927

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Latest news on runway extension : -

An airport manager says negotiations are still taking place six months on to secure extra land to expand a runway.
Lydd Airport's executive manager Hani Mutlaq has revealed talks to secure additional land will not be resolved until next year.
Hopes the runway expansion would start this summer were dashed back in June when it emerged there had been setbacks in purchasing the necessary land.
Lydd Airport, Lydd.
More space is required to expand the runway by nearly 300 metres for fully-loaded passenger jets.
Mr Mutlaq said: "We are still in negotiations with the land owners, but expected completion time has not been achieved.

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Carl0927

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We hope we can sort the land issue during 2019."
It was previously expected that work would start in summer 2018 and be completed by early 2019.
Mr Mutlaq has expressed his frustration at delays in the past, while preliminary groundworks have already been completed at the site for some time.
The two main projects which will see the biggest change to the airport’s traffic and see passenger numbers soar are a new terminal and an extension to the runway.
Both proposals were initially put forward for the site, also known as London Ashford Airport, 12 years ago in December 2006.
Lydd Airport executive manager Hani Mutlaq. Photo: Leah Taylor
Approval was granted by Folkestone and Hythe District Council - then called Shepway - in 2010 to extend the existing 1,500m runway by 294m and a 150m starter area, and to build a brand new terminal facility capable of taking 500,000 passengers a year.
Cllr Clive Goddard (Con), who represents Lydd within the Walland and Denge Marsh ward, said: "I think everybody will be disappointed by the delay.
"As soon as permission is granted, you want to see some bricks and mortar.
"Hopefully everybody can get around a table and get this started - build it and see it take off.
"I think it's important for jobs for the future."
The first Small Planet plane touches down at Lydd Picture
Once completed, the runway will be able to handle fully loaded Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft.
There has been a waiting list for hangars and bosses were considering adding more to the airport to increase its £35 million investment to the site so far.
The airport said previously that the expansion will maximise the routes and choice of aircraft available to airlines and will "provide much needed extra capacity in the South East".
Their aim is to create a successful and modern regional airport creating new jobs and "act as a catalyst for economic growth" in the county.
 
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