Financial News

  • 2 September 2014, 7:03

Boris Island Airport Plan Set To Be Rejected

Boris Johnson's proposal for a new four-runway airport to be built in the Thames Estuary is expected to be officially rejected today.

The decision by the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission will leave just three options on the table for airport expansion in London.

There are two additional runway plans for Heathrow, and one at Gatwick. The commission is due to make its final report to MPs in summer 2015.

The commission last year short-listed the Heathrow and Gatwick options, and said it would examine the estuary option.

It has since published reports showing the possible environmental cost of the estuary plan, which was dubbed Boris Island.

Mr Johnson's chief aviation adviser Daniel Moylan said: "We strongly suspect that the Airports Commission has decided not to short-list the estuary option.

"If so, it will be a sadly short-sighted decision but far from the end of the process.

"Airports policy has been stalled for nearly five decades, ricocheting like a billiard ball between Heathrow and Gatwick.

"We have one opportunity to break out of that but it seems the commission has taken us back to the same old, failed choice.

"But the final decision will lie with the Government and a key question now is whether the commission will play much of a role in that."

Mr Johnson has announced he will be seeking election as a Conservative at Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2015 General Election.

The constituency borders on Heathrow and contains many people who depend on the west London airport for their livelihood.

John Steward, chairman of Heathrow residents' group Hacan, which opposes an extra runway at Heathrow, said: "I don't expect that this will mean that Boris Johnson or his supporters will give up on the idea of a brand new airport.

"The idea of an island airport is likely to be floating around for some time yet.

"Mr Johnson remains an implacable opponent of a third runway at Heathrow and has reservations about the value of a second runway at Gatwick."

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