Boris Johnson is refloating plans for a four runway hub airport at the Thames Estuary in East London.
The plan dubbed ‘Boris Island’ was last year rejected by the Airports Commission as a credible option for airport expansion in the south east, due to cost and environmental issues.
In a report ‘Landing the right airport’, the Mayor’s team sets out the case against the expansion of Heathrow – and the logic behind building a four-runway hub to the east of London.
Johnson said that there was no silver bullet for Heathrow’s “noise nightmare” and the only solution to Britain’s “aviation dilemma” was to pursue plans for a new hub airport to the east of the capital, away from populated areas.
“Its cramped urban location simply cannot accommodate the kind of airport this country requires to compete on the global stage and the cost to the taxpayer of necessary road and rail connections would be huge, however well disguised,” said Johnson.
“That means the Government has a bold decision to make – but not a difficult one. They must surely finally recognise that the only long term vision that sustains our economy and safeguards our health is to build a four runway hub airport at the Thames Estuary or Stansted,” he said.
Boris Island plan criticised for cost and environmental issues
Daniel Moylan, aviation adviser to Mr Johnson, said a hub airport to the east of London would cost £20bn to £25bn – with an extra £25bn required to building road and rail connections.
He added the cost of building Heathrow would be four-times the estimated £20 billion due to schemes such as a direct rail link between the west London airport and Waterloo station or the cost of maintaining new roads and tunnels up to 2050.
In July, the commission recommended building a new runway at Heathrow rather than providing a second runway at Gatwick. The government delayed making a decision on which plan to approve until at least the end of this summer.