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Boris Johnson 'blames civil servants' for airport rejection

Mayor Boris Johnson has blamed civil servants for the rejection of plans to build a major new airport in the Thames Estuary, saying "They can't get their heads around it".

The scheme, championed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, was killed off after the commission said the proposal had "substantial disadvantages that collectively outweigh its potential benefits".

Having ruled out the Thames Estuary option, the Airport Commission is left with three shortlisted schemes for airport expansion - two involving expansion at Heathrow Airport in west London and the other for a new runway at Gatwick in West Sussex.

The commission is due to make its final report to ministers in summer 2015 - after the general election.

Howard Davies: Thames Estuary is not the right answer

Speaking after the decision to kill off plans for a "Boris Island" Thames Estuary airport, Airport Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies, said: "We are not persuaded that a very large airport in the Thames Estuary is the right answer to London's and the UK's connectivity needs."

"While we recognise the need for a hub airport, we believe this should be a part of an effective system of competing airports to meet the needs of a widely spread and diverse market like London's," he added.

Having ruled out the Thames Estuary option, the commission is left with three shortlisted schemes for airport expansion - two involving expansion at Heathrow Airport in west London and the other for a new runway at Gatwick in West Sussex.

The commission is due to make its final report to ministers in summer 2015 - after the general election.

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  1. Simon Harris: Political Correspondent

Boris Johnson: Rejection is a very temporary setback

Speaking about the rejection of the plans for a new major airport to be built in the Thames Estuary, mayor Boris Johnson has said the "Estuary airport is not dead".

'Londoners deserve an apology from their mayor'

Responding to news that the Airports Commission has ruled a Thames Estuary airport option off its final shortlist, London Assembly Labour Group Transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM, said:

Boris Johnson has long known that an estuary airport option was simply not viable, but has ploughed on regardless and wasted more than £5m of taxpayer money pursuing this pie-in-the-sky vanity project.

If anything, Londoners now deserve an apology from their Mayor. He has wasted valuable public money promoting an estuary airport to raise his profile, when the expert evidence all along suggested the idea was environmentally and financially doomed.

– Val Shawcross

Airport plans rejected

A plan to build a major new airport to the east of London was rejected by a government-appointed commission this morning dealing a blow to its high-profile backer, the city's mayor Boris Johnson.

The Airports Commission said the idea to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary, nicknamed Boris Island, had not made the shortlist of options it is considering to expand Britain's runway capacity

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'Boris Island' plans to be rejected

Lord Foster outlined plans for the Thames estuary airport Credit: Foster & Partners

The Mayor of London's plans for a so-called 'Boris Island 'Thames Estuary airport plan will be officially rejected tomorrow.

The Airports Commission is expected to give the thumbs down to the plans, which would have seen a four runway airport built to the east of the capital.

Official confirmation will come from the Commission's Chief Sir Howard Davies but already aides close to Boris Johnson have admitted plans for the island airport are unlikely to be considered by Government.

We strongly suspect that the Airports Commission has decided not to short-list the estuary option.

If so, it will be a sadly short-sighted decision but far from the end of the process.

Airports policy has been stalled for nearly five decades, ricocheting like a billiard ball between Heathrow and Gatwick.

We have one opportunity to break out of that but it seems the commission has taken us back to the same old, failed choice. But the final decision will lie with the Government and a key question now is whether the commission will play much of a role in that.

– Daniel Moylan, Mayor's chief aviation adviser
Heathrow is proposing to build two new runways Credit: PA

The rejection of the scheme will leave just three options, two additional runways at Heathrow and one at Gatwick.

The Mayor has already announced he is seeking to be the candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip at next year's general election.

The constituency borders on Heathrow and contains many people who depend on London's main airport for their livelihoods.

Plans for a so-called 'Boris Island' are expected to be killed off tomorrow Credit: PA

Mayor waits for decision on estuary airport

The mayor is awaiting the decision of the Airports Commission on short-listing an estuary airport.

It is the only credible option and the only one that gives us both the global and national connectivity we need in the medium and longer term.

– Spokesperson for Boris Johnson

Heathrow bosses have called on Boris Johnson to support a third runway if plans for the so-called "Boris Island" are shelved by the Airports Commission

Heathrow Boss wants Boris Johnson's backing

Bosses at Heathrow want to build a third runway Credit: PA

Heathrow's chief executive has urged Boris Johnson to back expansion at London's biggest airport should plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary be scrapped.

Airports Commission could exclude plans for the so-called "Boris Island" from its list of options for new runways in the South East.

The Mayor of London has announced he's seeking the Conservative candidacy at Uxbridge and South Ruislip at next year's general election.

John Holland-Kaye has published an open letter he has written to Mr Johnson quoting the mayor's former thoughts on airport capacity. Boris Johnson is opposed to expansion at Heathrow.

John Holland-Kaye has written an open letter to Boris Johnson Credit: PA

Mr Holland-Kaye said Heathrow would be "the only option left in the race" should the estuary plan be ditched.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip borders Heathrow, with many people in the constituency depending on the airport for employment.

Boris Johnson hopes to be the new MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip Credit: PA

Missing man's disappearance 'out of character'

Have you seen Steven Edwards, last spotted in the Heathrow area? Credit: Metropolitan Police

Police are appealing for help in finding a Staffordshire man who was last seen near Heathrow. Steven Edwards, who's 28, and from Burntwood, has not been seen since Monday, 11 August.

It is not known what he is wearing but is believed to be carrying a khaki brown rucksack. Police say he hasn't been seen or heard from for a week, and this is out of character for him.

Insp Rachel Joyce, of Lichfield District Local Policing Team, said: "We are working closely with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police to locate him as our inquiries have established he was last seen in the Heathrow area of London last Monday, 11 August."

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