London

London mayor Boris Johnson attacks Heathrow Airport expansion plan

Boris Johnson Image copyright PA
Image caption Boris Johnson's plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary was dismissed by the Airports Commission

London mayor Boris Johnson has sent a 30-page dossier to MPs and peers attacking the recommendation to expand Heathrow Airport.

The Airports Commission proposed the West London airport be expanded instead of Gatwick to increase airport capacity in the south east of England.

But Mr Johnson said building a third runway at Heathrow meant "investing in decline".

Heathrow said the expansion would "keep Britain as a leading aviation hub".

Mr Johnson claimed figures "buried" in the commission's report, released in July, showed expanding Heathrow would offer six fewer long haul destinations a day and only four UK cities would have a connection to the hub by 2030, down from the current seven.

He also described the noise data published by the commission as "incomplete", making proper scrutiny "almost impossible".


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Mr Johnson, the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said: "The Airports Commission has spent several years in the production of a gigantic ball of wool that they are now attempting to pull over the eyes of the nation.

"Their report very clearly shows that a third runway will fail both London and the UK on every level.

"Our great nation is sleepwalking its way towards becoming a bit part player in the aviation world."

Heathrow was chosen by the commission because it was predicted it would add £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nearly 800 homes would have to be demolished to build the new runway at Heathrow

Sir Howard Davies's report said the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects and the government should make a parliamentary pledge not to build a fourth runway.

The government will give its official response to the commission in the autumn and it is estimated that, if given the go-ahead, any new runway would take more than a decade to build.

The Mayor of London had previously proposed a new airport should be built in the Thames estuary, but the plan dubbed "Boris Island" was dismissed by the commission.

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