Saturday, May 22, 2004

Heavens Above

I see that the low cost carrier, EUjet will soon be flying to multiple European destinations from the end of this summer. From my front door to the airport in five minutes sounds pretty attractive but I’m wondering where at Manston airport, they are going to park the cars of a half million passengers a year? There’s barely enough room to service the Spitfire museum, so perhaps I’ll need to take my bicycle instead?

Being adventurous, I've booked a weekend to Nice in September for the family on my wife's birthday. The price twenty-four pounds each return + taxes and everything can be done online, on the EUJet website, except the bicycles that is.

Departures Lounge at Maypole

Another thought is the increased volume of aircraft. I found myself sharing the same airspace as three 747’s last weekend, which was OK because I ducked underneath them along the coast at five hundred feet, while still working Manston tower. However, if it’s going to get busier, it’s bound to get noisier and this bothers residents on the runway approaches at Ramsgate (RW28) and Birchington and St Nicholas (RW10).

Anyway, I was up today taking photos for people, which have come out rather well. I even managed to line up my own house with my wife in view washing the car while I was joyriding in the sky above.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Who Stole the Weather?

Spring appears to have temporarily left us and replaced sunshine with rain and a howling gale. I rather think that the 'Curry Fly-in' at Maypole Farm airstrip may be a washout tomorrow, which is a shame, as we were hoping for a few vintage visitors to drop in to share a popadum or two.

I passed by Manston airport last week and noticed two 747 passengers jets being repainted in the livery of the new airline, Travel Station which plans to start operating European flights in a month's time. Where they are actually flying to remains a mystery but they have an impressive list pf potential European destinations, from Malta to Manchester, so leaving from Manston will be a great deal easier than trying to tackle Heathrow departures any day.

I can still remember when Invicta Airways used to fly from Manston to the Channel Islands. That was a different era and Jersey was a pretty exotic destination in those days with currency restrictions in place.

I can also recall, as a boy, the filming of the movie, 'The Battle of Britain' overhead, during the summer of 1968. It made for an exciting summer, watching the Spitfires falling upon the film's Heinkel IIIs and being intercepted by ME109's, borrowed from the Spanish airforce. Paying attention in class at school was impossible some days as Manston was only four miles away from my school, The Charles Dickens in Broadstairs.

On another note, we've got to do something about the number of cars here in Thanet. At some point, not to far in the future, the place will grind to a halt under the sheer weight of traffic on a few key routes. I haven't any immediate answers but the roads here were built without the two or even three car family in mind and I can imagine that simply taking my daughter to a birthday party in Birchington this afternoon will prove to be a parking impossibility.