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Manston Airport has submitted plans to run flights at night.
Managers want permission from Thanet District Council for an average of eight take-offs and landings during 11pm and 7am.
They say it would bring Manston more in line with other airports and help attract new airlines to the site, which in turn bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive at Manston Airport, said: "For the airport to be commercially viable in the longer term, and deliver for Kent what other airports have done for their regions, it is vital that we are allowed to compete in terms of the operating hours."
"The submission is supported by an economic impact assessment, and the Master Plan, and shows that by 2018, Manston’s operation could directly employ 2,000 people and a further 1,000 indirect jobs in the local community."
At present the airport employs 110 people, with a further 40 people employed servicing the operation of the airport, such as aircraft engineering, flying schools and catering to passengers.
As part of the submission, the airport has repeated its commitment to investing in the future of Thanet. Excluding fuel, the airport currently spends more than £1m per year purchasing goods and services, with 64% spent with Kent companies, and 22% spent with Thanet companies.
But campaigners are concerned about noise and disruption the extra flights could cause, and fear the proposals could pave the way for 24 hour arrivals and departures. A group called No Night Flights has set up an online petition against the plans.