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We are a group of local residents who are worried about the Medway Council's Rochester Airport Master Plan.
Most of us have lived in the area for 50 years or more and we have seen Rochester Airport gradually diminish in size and become surrounded by more and more houses and schools over the years.
The airport started out in the 1930s in middle of open fields and orchard land and some of these were designated areas for aircraft in trouble to ditch in. Nowadays one of those areas is occupied by the Thomas Aveling School. The thought of a stricken aircraft ditching there today is unthinkable, yet far larger numbers of heavier turbojet planes and helicopters will be allowed to fly from the Rochester Airport's proposed concrete runway significantly increasing the risks of an air disaster.
Rochester Airport already has a poor record of air incidents caused by pilot error and mechanical failure. You have only to watch TV news to appreciate the numbers of incidents involving aircraft taking off and landing from large commercial airports. Incidentally aircraft take-offs and landings are known by pilots to be the riskiest manoeuvres in flying.
As concerned residents with no financial axe to grind, we are fearful of the future risk of a plane crash in a densely populated residential area around the Rochester Airport and the potential loss of life and property this could cause.
The Council does not seem to have considered the safety of the proposed Airport Master Plan as you will see if you read our blog. Neither have they considered any alternatives to their Master plan,
Perhaps of greatest concern is the local Councillor's seeming lack of concern for the safety and well-being of its constituents and the obvious lack of a meaningful public debate into the future of the airport.
We want to stop the Rochester Airport Master Plan until a proper public debate has taken place to properly examine the real safety issues and the economics of the present Master Plan, which will probably return much less than a savings account held in a high street building society - on the proposed £4,000,000 ratepayers investment - if it is allowed to go ahead in its present form unchecked by public scrutiny.