Thursday, 27 November 2014

Polluting East Kent

Air traffic control in 1929.
Back in the 1920s when commercial aviation was in its infancy, this corner of England was already the main road to Europe. This illustration is an 'airway traffic controller' in 1929, plotting the route of an 'Air Express' by means of radio triangulation. The planes flew from Heston Air Station and then later, Croydon Air Station on daily services to capital cities in Europe. By 1930, fifty aircraft per day were crossing the Channel, and they all flew over Kent.

Air pollution in 2014.
Fifty per day? 
Now it must be fifty per hour. 

This is the East Kent sky. What you might believe to be cloud is pollution from aircraft. Those pretty silver vapour trails that aircraft inscribe in the blue do not go away -- they get broader and spread across the sky.

Roman-built Richborough Castle
 under the polluted sky.

This would have been a clear sky and a sunny day for us in East Kent had it not been for the thousands of you above us intent on your holidays.

So next time you check in for your flight, spare a thought for those whose lives you are blighting.

By the way, I enjoyed my trip to New Zealand in February.

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