Boris pushes for Estuary as Gatwick boss says it is ‘sinking’

Boris pushes for Estuary as Gatwick boss says it is ‘sinking’

Mayor makes claim for airport while on trip to Hong Kong

Mayor makes claim for airport while on trip to Hong Kong

A rendering of Foster's four runway airport
A rendering of Foster’s four runway airport

The mayor of London Boris Johnson has reiterated his belief that Boris Island is still the answer to London’s airport crisis.

The mayor, who was on a tour of Hong Kong, used the opportunity to compare the success of the region’s Chep Lap Kok airport, which is built using reclaimed land, to his ambitious plans for a four-runway hub on the Isle of Grain.

According to the Financial Times, Johnson said: “There are absolutely no circumstances in which the expansion of Heathrow will be acceptable to London or of long-term benefit to the country.

“Ambitious cities such as Hong Kong have stolen a march on us and built mega-airports that plug them directly into the global supply chains that we need to be part of.

“For London and the wider UK to remain competitive we also have to build an airport capable of emulating that scale of growth.”

A rendering of a two runway Gatwick
A rendering of a two runway Gatwick

However, it wasn’t Heathrow, but the CEO of Gatwick, Stuart Wingate, who has claimed that Johnson’s airport is “sinking without a trace” while speaking in London.

“On [Howard] Davies’s mind is that the Estuary option is dropping down the pecking order and perhaps dropping off altogether. Even Stansted themselves have said they couldn’t possibly deliver four runways so it’s a non-deliverable option at this time. It’s looking increasingly like Heathrow versus Gatwick.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Wingate continued: “From a connectivity point of view [Heathrow and Gatwick] would both deliver extra connectivity, but on noise pollution, air quality, cost and resilience we absolutely nail every one of those criteria. We’ve got wind in our sails and Gatwick will prevail.”

To read our ‘London Debate’ series on the case for each airport please click here.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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