Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I was just browsing the Google Earth service and look what I stumbled across just north of White Waltham in Berkshire. It shows how powerful these satellite cameras are.


Anonymous said...

Its scary enough to think that military surveillance has been going on for years without seeing how detailed this 'civilian' set up is. There is no escape from Big Brother in Thanet even if I use the side roads around Birchington to avoid those cameras.

If anyone saw an article in yesterdays Telegraph about in the USA, you will have seen the next stage after compulsory ID cards. Barcoded subcutaneous implants that in time could be fitted with small transmitters, so that BIG BROTHER can monitor not just cars by satelite but every citizen. Of course if you are a law abiding citizen you have nothing to worry about do you?

Anonymous said...

We'll have to get used to sights like that in Ramsgate, I suppose, with Manston expansion running out of control.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how opening up the airport to one charter flight every week is "expansion running out of control." Even if Manston were to expand to accommodate daily freight and passenger flights, I think it is very unlikely we would "have to get used" to the sight of Air Canada A340s. Finally, the photo is obviously taken from above, so for you to see "sights like that in Ramsgate" would involve a miracle, not airport expansion.

Mile High Clubber said...

Re 'view from above' above, surely what the previous comment meant was the view from the Eastcliff as one of our simulator-only trained pilots makes a controlled descent into terrain!

Anonymous said...

It's Infratil's stated aim to achieve 750,000 passengers a year going through Manston.

Even on a conservative estimate that's ten flights a day. Add that to the freight, and the repair and testing facility, and it won't be too long before we see several movements an hour, which will be a noise nightmare for the residents of Ramsgate, not to mention the pollution (when will the aviation industry start paying the same for fuel as everyone else, eh?).

This area should be promoting it's plus points. i.e peace, tranquility, heritage and nature, not eradicating them. But then that would be far too visionary for most Thanetians, wouldn't it?

James Maskell said...

The airport is a great asset to Thanet, creating jobs and giving Thanet a higher status in the region. I know the local residents dont like the noise, but a succesful airport is key to the future of Thanet.

Chris said...

Well I would say ..If you don't like aircraft don't by a house near an airport.

As for promoting peace and tranquility..this is Thanet...Mind you we don't have the annual Mods and Rockers seafront brawls outside dreamland nowdays..Thats an improvement..Isn't it?

Anonymous said...

As I said, Thanet, vision? Too much to expect.

Anonymous said...

Wow you can almost count the rivets on the plane in the pic. Thats a pastime anyone living in Nethercourt knows about. The only difference is that you have to do it without hearing yourself speaking. Well if its for the benefit of Thanet......

Plane Spotter said...

I notice all those smug sneers about "if you don't like the noise you shouldn't buy a house near an airport' come from people who don't actually live on the Manston flight path.

Ramsgate has several major assets including a beautiful harbour, a port (with very quiet ferries), a very nice beach, and a fantastic stock of Georgian and Victorian housing just waiting to be brought up to modern standards.

The sort of (mainly London) types who want to buy these houses and do them up are coming to Ramsgate to escape 24/7 traffic noise, aircraft noise, hustle and bustle etc. It's happened in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Suffolk, etc and now, thank god, it's finally happening here. These kind of people actively seek out character housing stock to gentrify. They do not want to buy your 50s bungaloid in Birchington. And they do not want or need an international airport 1km from their doorstep.

That's why the development of Manston is so, so short-sighted.

(One or two of them might have private planes though, Dr M, so we could leave Manston open for the likes of you!).

(And by the way, I think the Air Canada shot on this post is probably faked, you can find many such composites on Google Earth, try the solitary tanker just off San Diego. Also the terrain looks as if it's an aerial shot, not commercial satellite, you'll find the better res stuff is just fly-bys, e.g Greater London).

DrMoores said...

Actually, the Google shot isn't a fake that I'm aware of. I was looking at Google earth at the climb out from White Waltham to Wycombe Booker and spotted this aircraft over the roundabout towards Wycombe, at very small resolution at first. If you go to Google earth. Find White Waltham Airfield near Maidenhead and slowly pan north, you'll find it!

Cllr David Green said...

In Ramsgate we have a particular dilemma concerning Kent International Airport.
We all wish the airport and the new owner success. We all enjoyed having cheap flights on our doorstep. Thanet’s economic development is heavily dependent upon the airport to stimulate spin off jobs. The new Thanet Local Development Plan lists the Airport, Westwood Cross and the Ramsgate Port as the main economic drivers of the local economy. The collapse of the previous operation shows how risky this can be. My own view is the current administration at TDC is foolish to pull back from its broader Economic Development efforts. A missed opportunity now, say for a major educational facility, will have severe economic effects down the line. Generation of jobs through tourism is increasingly difficult and expensive as the Turner fiasco shows.
Our dilemma in Ramsgate is that we don’t want too many planes flying directly over our heads, particularly at night. The answer has to be to balance the economic and the environmental.
The previous administration at TDC did this through a section 106 planning agreement that restricted free use of the airport in various ways. The current administration (controversially in Ramsgate) relaxed this temporarily last summer by allowing limited night flights.
This agreement is now out of date and needs renegotiation, and these negotiations will shortly begin in a formal sense. The main points of the negotiations will cover:

The types of aircraft allowed.
The conditions concerning night flying.
The use of a preferred runway.
The control of flight paths and the equipment needed to monitor this.
Noise monitoring and restrictions
Fines for breach of the agreement
Complaints system.

I will be encouraging the widest possible debate over these issues. With the new high speed rail link, I believe the Airport has a real opportunity of success, but we need to get the environmental impact correct.

Anonymous said...

Well said Cllr Green!

Anonymous said...

Haven't spotted the plane yet but there are an awful lot of swimming pools in that area, no wonder we're running out of water.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong. They are not swimming pools; your looking at Southern Water's belated mini-reservoirs to avoid standpipes in the streets this summer. Broad Oak would have been a better option but no-one listens out there.

Anonymous said...

All these moan and groans about Manston 'running out of control'. Paranoia based on ignorance. I lived under the flight path to Gatwick and heard very little. Take an airport like Norwich which has regular scheduled flights and that's Manston. one-plane an hour. Get real people I laugh when people say we don't want another Heathrow on our doorstep. That's sensationalist talk by Ignoramuses. Even Birmingham which is a busy airport isn't noisey. Don't suppose the same people who complain mind inflicting it on others when they fly from other airports, hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Well said anon. (above). It has to be in someones back garden, stop being selfish and ignorant and read something other than the Daily Mail / Express.

Anonymous said...

So you lived 1km from the flight path at Gatwick then? Because that's what we're talking about with Manston and Ramsgate.

But I agree, often the real noise problem is pushed out beyond the airport itself. If you look at the traffic patterns for Heathrow, for example, the worst hit areas are 20 miles away, where planes just go round and round in circles at relatively low altitudes every minute from 6am in the morning until midnight, making everyone's lives an utter misery.

So my advice if you live in East Kent is invest in double glazing companies, because they're the only ones who are going to profit from this rampant expansion at Manston.

Besides there are much greener and pleasanter forms of transport we can expand if we need jobs. The port, for example. And there's already going to be 200 jobs created at the new high speed train depot, that's more than Manston's ever done. This is the future of transport, not gas guzzling old jets that don't even pay their fair whack of fuel tax, transporting lager louts to Spain and Greece for 20 quid.

The best thing they could do with Manston is close it.

Anonymous said...

If you actually read what I wrote you wouldn't have started off with: 'So you lived 1km from the flight path at Gatwick then? Because that's what we're talking about with Manston and Ramsgate'. I repeat, SENSATIONALISM at it's worse, (I didn't say a mile neither, 13 in fact). Yet, this is the puzzling point,
1) You say you agree the noise factor is pushed out worse of the immediate area to surrounding areas up to 20 miles away. What therefore is your issue if you live in Thanet?
Manston isn't ever going to be like Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham...more like Norwich which seems to run a scheduled flight an hour if they're lucky. I've worked at every passenger airport in England and can tell you your ramblings are without foundation.
2) Have you ever flown? If so you're a hypocrite for inflicting your pollution on others. Friends of the Earth say that one return plane trip to Florida produces the same amount of pollution per passenger as the average British motorist does in a year. (What you should realize aircraft engines on a larger ratio to cars are way way more efficient.

3) The port, clean that is isn't it, seen the film of oil on the sea recently in the harbour at Ramsgate?
4) Lager louts going to Spain for £20. Kinda tarring everyone with one brush stroke aren't you? Go and buy your Daily Mail or Express and simmer.

Anonymous said...

And we should believe all that rant above when it comes from someone with a vested interest, should we?

Dave Spart said...

Not quite sure where all this Daily Mail/Daily Express stuff is coming from. They're the kind of capitalist newspapers that promote all this cheap flights, consumerist nonsense that leads to us having an air-pulluting, noise-promoting, night-flying airport on our doorstep in the first place, surely?

Anonymous said...

What makes you think I have a vested interest now? I don't work at any airport now and my living doesn't rely on air travel now. In fact it's never relied solely on air travel as my job took me to ports and airports and other places. I went where it was necessary to go, Belfast, Teeside, Leeds, Heathrow etc. My vested interest is Thanet and not (some of)the older generation who held it back for so long, who made the rest of us who couldn't find work after we left school and college in the late 70s cause of their selfishness at wanting no progress have to leave the area to find it. Now the investment is coming in and my generation is in charge we'll do as we see fit. They, the older generation had their chance and spent most the 20th century killing each other.