The downside of Boris Island includes cost of infrastructure and transport but I’d argue that these are simply investment in the area, a desirable thing.
Loss of wetlands and the problem of birds in the air on the coast are significant negatives.
Unfortunately, that bird problem is also one for Manston and there’s the little matter of Ramsgate. For me, the biggest plus for Manston is that, being that little bit further out of London, there’d be less need to close down Heathrow and indeed, the roles could be reversed – Heathrow for charter flights and Manston for international traffic.
Heathrow needn’t close entirely, that’s the advantage although it would if Boris Island became the plan. If Boris becomes PM, it could well become the plan and I wonder if that’s behind the reshuffle to a small extent?
There are always going to be local objections but being cynical, there’ll be less of them from Ramsgate than under the Heathrow flightpath.
It also seems more “hubbish” than Heathrow or Boris Island would be and could connect with cross-channel quite easily, with high-speed link to the heart of London, let alone easier connects north and south.
The cost would be significantly less and available cash could be put into the local area as a resort or even a new business hub, allowing decentralization from London.
As Wiki put it:
[E]xpansion would: a) reduce the amount of taxpayer support; b) result in less environmental costs; and c) help regenerate this relatively deprived area of Kent.
However Manston is located 65 miles from Central London and the journey time from St Pancras by existing high speed Javelin trains to the nearest rail station at Ramsgate is 1 hour 16 minutes.
This journey time could be reduced to under 50 mins by upgrading the old railway line that makes up part of the route, Ramsgate to Ashford, into a proper High Speed line.
In addition the flight path from its single runway is directly over Ramsgate, a seaside resort of some 40,000 residents.
The latter seems not an issue to me – alter the flight paths. Another good move, in conjunction with leaving the EU is to restrict immigration and the current free Eastern European movement, thereby reducing the traffic and the necessity to expand Manston by a huge amount – maybe one more runway. Heathrow’s and Gatwick’s reduced loads would also see the pressure lifted from them.
Manston obviously likes the idea and the thought of coming back from o/s to Manston with a new [maybe even a tad French] coffeeshop area and maybe even duty free precinct is a nice one, with Ramsgate right there. I used to drive down from the north [9 hours to get to the ferry], I’d go across and then was so knackered I’d stay in Boulogne. If there was a lovely, driver-friendly, non-rip-off space this side of the channel, I’d always stay there and go over by ferry next day.
With the three airports sharing the load and with the cost of the highspeed link fare to/from London reduced to manageable proportions, e.g. a fiver, then it would seem to be a goer.
Here’s a flight coming in to land even as you read:
Might I suggest that if Manston doesn’t go through but Boris Island does, the airport could be named the Richard Montgomery International Airport with the tagline “explosive new development”?