The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has backed plans for a second runway at Stansted Airport in Essex as a short-term solution to air capacity problems in the South East of England. His long-term plan is for a new airport with four runways in the Thames Estuary: the so-called Boris Island. But he reckons Stansted could be a temporary fix to boost Britain's links to China and other emerging markets.
His comments about Stansted throw him into conflict with the Government, which has refused to consider any airport expansion until after the 2015 election. His ideas have also been dismissed by the airport itself. It says it is running well below capacity and does not see the need for another runway.
The saga of the second runway at Stansted has gone on for the past decade.
- 2003 - Labour produces a white paper proposing second runway
- 2008 - BAA puts in planning application
- 2010 - application withdrawn after Coalition government says it will not back the plan
Mr Johnson's suggestions have angered campaigners who have fought for years to stop the airport expanding.