'Boris Island' Estuary airport grounded

Mayor of London Boris Johnson blasts MPs who have dismissed plans for an island airport in favour of a third runway at Heathrow.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 11 Jun 2013

In a report published today, the Commons Transport Committee said the ‘Boris Island’ option would be hugely expensive, could harm estuary wildlife and would also mean the closure of Heathrow in order to be viable.

Instead, MPs argued a third runway at Heathrow would be more suitable, and even suggested that a fourth runway could be on the cards. The committee of MPs, chaired by Labour’s Louise Ellman, said the two additional runways could be built on the other side of the M25.

But Mayor of London Boris Johnson hit out at the suggestion, saying new runways at Heathrow would expose local residents to an even greater level of jet noise.

‘By suggesting that Heathrow should double its runways from two to four, the committee is putting four fingers up to hundreds of thousands of Londoners,’ Boris Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Furthermore, the committee concluded that a new hub airport east of London could not be created without huge public investment in new transport infrastructure.

‘The viability of an estuary hub airport would also require the closure of Heathrow - a course of action that would have unacceptable consequences for individuals, businesses in the vicinity of the existing airport and the local economy,’ Ellman added.

It is thought the two new runways at Heathrow would cost up to £12bn and could be built by 2030.

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