London mayor Boris Johnson argues case for new airport

Boris Johnson

PDF download A new airport for London[2 MB]

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

Related Stories

London mayor Boris Johnson has outlined the economic case for a new hub airport in the south-east of England.

Making a speech to business leaders and representatives of the aviation industry, he said the constrictions of Heathrow Airport were becoming "ever more apparent and ever more damaging".

A £50bn plan for the Thames Estuary has been put forward to increase flight capacity without expanding Heathrow.

But there is opposition to the scheme on environmental and economic grounds.

'Chortling' competitors

Mr Johnson said: "As the world economy changes and global power shifts to the East, the constrictions of London's hub airport are becoming ever more apparent and ever more damaging."

He added that in the next 15 years 75 million Chinese households would enter the middle classes - a "phenomenal market".

But, he said, their business is "already being snaffled up by our friends on the continent who chortle at our continued inertia".

He warned that to do nothing would lead to "economic stagnation".

Passenger demand for London's airports is forecast to increase from 140 million passengers a year in 2010 to 400 million passengers a year by 2050, according to a report by the Greater London Authority.

'Absolutely nuts'

But when the plan to build a facility between the Essex and Kent coasts was debated in October, concerns were raised about damage to the environment.

The RSPB, Medway Council and Kent County Council have opposed the idea, saying it is "undeliverable, unaffordable and unnecessary".

They have launched a campaign website where they say people can email the mayor directly.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary is among those who have criticised the financial case for the transport hub, saying that London needs more runways at the existing airports rather than a new one.

Mr O'Leary said: "I think it's absolutely nuts, there's no requirement for any new hub airport."

In May last year plans for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow were scrapped when the coalition government took office.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



9 °C 2 °C


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • A man shutting his eyes tightlyStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.