Only 16 per cent of British adults would support ‘Boris Island’ if it would cause other surrounding airports to close, according to new research.

The study found just one in six British adults would support the building of an Estuary airport in the Thames, dubbed Boris island after the mayor’s backing, at the expense of closing existing facilities at Heathrow, London City and Southend airport, according to a public opinion survey commissioned by Medway Council and Kent Council.

The findings come as the mayor submits his final plans for an Estuary airport to the government’s aviation commission.

The study asked more than 2,000 people if they supported the plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary, with 38 per cent saying they would support an Estuary airport.

However, this figure drops to 16 per cent when people are told that existing major facilities would have to close as a result.

Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council, said: “No one disputes the need to invest more in aviation in order to ensure the UK keeps pace with demand and matches competition from abroad.

“However, we strongly believe that plans to site a hub airport in the Thames Estuary is financially, geographically and environmentally wrong.

“It will waste tens of billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money for a project which is on the wrong side of London for the majority of passengers.

“This survey highlights the chronic lack of public support for the project. Most people will not back a scheme which closes other key airports including Heathrow and City and Southend Airports and it’s time we explore other, more sensible options.

“This should include how Stansted can be upgraded alongside improvements at the network of excellent regional airports which serve the UK and are not being used to their full capacity.”

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