Following on from the last blog LINK
We will now examine what makes a freight hub and why Manston cannot work. This report relies upon a report compiled by:-
Lucy Budd BA, MSc, PhD*, Stephen Ison BA,
MA, PhD, MCILT* and Thomas Budd BSc, PhD**
*Transport Studies Group
School of Civil and Building Engineering
**Department of Air Transport
air cargo operations at regional airports: a case study of East Midlands
It is interesting as to how this compares to the report compiled by Dr. Sally Dixon who it seems also has a connection to Cranfield but fails to take this report into account when writing her report on the future of a cargo hub at Manston.
"The paper concludes by identifying elements of best practice and
examining the extent to which the development of successful cargo operations at
EMA could serve as a model for other regional airports worldwide that are
seeking to develop complementary passenger and freight services."
These are as follows
its opening in April 1965 as a commercial facility, East Midlands Airport has actively
sought to encourage the development of air cargo through a series of strategic
planning and management interventions. Successive public and private owners
have recognised the need to develop a comprehensive yet complementary range of
passenger services during the day and cargo operations at night."
So to be clear East Midlands thrives because it operates 24/7/365, daytime is passengers and night time it is freight.
airport’s single 2,893 x 60m (9,492 x 197ft) east/west grooved flexible asphalt
runway has an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Pavement
Classification Number (PCN) of 78/F/C/W/T. This means the runway’s load bearing
capacity is sufficient to safely support operations by all major commercial
aircraft up to and including the An-124, B747-400F and Antonov 225"
To be clear Manston's runway is unable to handle the most common long haul freight aircraft the Boeing 747-400F unless the aircraft is less than full.
"In December 2003, the UK Government’s ‘Future of Air Transport White
Paper’ recognised the national importance of developing passenger and freight
services at EMA and predicted that the airport could be handling over 12
million passengers and 2.5 million metric tonnes of cargo on 60,000 cargo
flights a year by 2030"
Current airfreight at EMA is almost 300,000 metric tonnes(as of 2013) so capacity is still available.
"Whereas Heathrow and
Gatwick (and, to a lesser extent, Manchester) are relatively capacity and slot
constrained and have strict operating conditions that prevent full 24-hour
flight operations, East Midlands and Stansted currently have spare capacity and
EMA has an unrestricted 24-hour operating licence. This allows EMA to serve
passenger aircraft during the day and freight aircraft at night. Heathrow and
Gatwick on the other hand, owing to the absence of slots and more restricted
hours of operation, see virtually all of their air cargo arrive in the holds of
scheduled passenger services. In addition, East Midlands and Stansted offer
further advantages for cargo operators. Both are located in more rural areas of
the country where land is cheaper and relatively fewer people are affected by
aircraft noise; both are surrounded by greenfield sites which could be made
available for future expansion (subject to planning permission); both are
located near major trunk roads for ease of delivery and onward distribution and
both are now owned and operated by the same company – Manchester Airports Group
(MAG). EMA has the added advantage of being centrally located within the UK
near the intersection of major north-south and east-west trunk roads."
So to be clear the East Midlands airport operates an unrestricted 24 hour licence handling passengers during the day and freight during the night. East Midlands and Stanstead offer a significant advantage as they operate in a rural environment (unlike Manston which has towns at both ends of the runway albeit Herne Bay is further away than Ramsgate). Both EMA and Stanstead are located near major trunk roads, EMA also has the advantage of being centrally located near the intersection of Major Trunk Roads.
The history of the East Midlands is eerily similar to Manston but it comes as no surprise to realise that EMA has much more going for it that ever Manston had bearing in mind where Manston is located compared to EMA and for RSP and Sally Dixon to ignore Manston's geographical location is bemusing. It is true however you get what you pay for in this world.
of aviation at EMA can be traced back to 1916 when Castle Donington airfield
was established to serve the needs of 38 Squadron in their defence of Midlands’
airspace during World War One. Abandoned after the declaration of the
Armistice, the site was subsequently redeveloped as a military airfield with a
hard-surfaced runway during the Second World War before being closed for a
second time in 1946. In late 1947, the site was acquired by the UK’s Ministry
of Civil Aviation as part of the new National Airport Plan which sought to
concentrate passenger services at a few key airports (see Sealy, 1976). By the
mid-1950s it was apparent that the existing municipal airport serving the East
Midlands at Burnaston near Derby was becoming obsolete as the grass runways
could not support the weight of the new post-war commercial aircraft that were
The need for a
replacement facility was first articulated by the Corporation of Nottingham
who, together with a consortium of Local Authorities, formed a Joint Airport
Committee (JAC). After evaluating a number of potential sites, the JAC decided
that the abandoned airfield at Castle Donington should be developed as
Burnaston’s successor (Walker, 2005). It was thought that the site offered
significant development potential as it lay roughly equidistant between the
region’s three major cities of Leicester, Derby and Nottingham, boasted
favourable flying conditions and, most importantly, was adjacent to the
proposed London-Leeds M1 motorway, the first section of which opened in
November 1959. From its inception, the new facility was promoted as a ‘Motorway
Airport’ with the supporting local authorities demonstrating an early
appreciation of the future strategic importance of fast, easy and efficient
road access to the airport’s commercial future (Rowley, 1965). The initial
planning application was submitted in 1960, construction commenced in spring
1964 and the new East Midlands Airport (EMA) opened for commercial civilian
operations on April 1st 1965.
It does seem surprising that someone who gained some qualifications from Cranfield seems to totally ignore the advantages that EMA has compared to the disadvantages that beset Manston.
What of Stanstead Airport? Well here are the key facts that Stanstead advertise and it is uncanny how many seem to have made it into Sally Dixon's report especially the equine information.
- Handling around 230,000
tonnes annually, Stansted Airport is the the UK’s 3rd largest cargo
airport and London’s premier pure cargo gateway.
- The airport is operational
- Fire fighting category 7
with CAT 8, 9 & 10 available by request
- Stansted’s dedicated cargo
stands can simultaneously accommodate 4 x A380, 3 x B747-8F, 1 x B747-400F
and 1 X B767-300
- Stansted’s 3,049 metre
runway offers full intercontinental capability and provides full CAT IIIb
- With 120,000 remaining spare
slots London Stansted is the only major London airport with capacity to
support the immediate growth of the UK’s aviation sector
- Stansted’s proximity to LHR
makes it ideal for combi carriers wishing to supplement bellyhold capacity
with maindeck freighter traffic
- The airport’s south-eastern
location allows reduced flying time from Asia, Europe and Africa
- 27% of the UK’s pure freight
is flown to or from Stansted
- 21% of the UK’s pure mail is
flown to or from Stansted
- 8% of the UK’s total air
cargo volumes are flown to or from Stansted
- London Stansted handles in
excess of £8bn in trade value annually
- Experienced cargo handling
- Significant land
availability for future development
- At the heart of UK
bloodstock sector with Newmarket just 30 miles away, Stansted is the
primary UK gateway for some of the world’s finest race horses and polo
So far from cargo slots being restricted it seems that with 120,000 spare slots available it does seem awfully strange that Sally Dixon fails to note this in her extensive report.
Finally it does seem somewhat odd that the Save Manston Airport association publish a "myth Buster" when the only myth's that need busting are those put into the ether by Tony Freudmann. I do wonder why they feel it necessary to defend themselves against the lies put out by RSP but each to their own. The only thing SMAa are good at is abusive comments and acting as some sort of cult.
Point one: It is irrelevant what SMAa want it is RSP and the Freight Forwarders that will determine night flights. SMAa will not be running an airport if it re-opens.
Point two: As SMAa has failed to publish accounts since inception who knows where the money comes from.
Point 3: If it is ever submitted. Promises were made over a year ago and the timetable has slipped ever since.
Point 4: No prospective suitor has ever produced verifiable proof they have the money to re-open Manston and that includes any fronted by Tony Freudmann.
Point 5: This is funny as they have never supported anyone other than the Tories, in fact they have abused both Labour and UKIP on a regular basis.
Point 6: London City airport isn't a cargo hub. The two main Cargo hubs outside of the big two both handle freight during the night.
Point 7: RSP have no aviation experience bar Tony Freudmann who failed miserably in 2005 losing many local shareholders vast sums of money.