Boris ups the ante over airports

Boris Johnson, David Cameron
Boris Johnson and David Cameron lunched near Chequers recently, the Mayor is seen as a rival to the PM Photo: PA Images

Boris Johnson is planning to set up his own investigation into airport expansion, it's been reported.

The London Mayor is organising his own “call for evidence” which will hear from airport operators, airlines, aviation experts and local councils.

He will hear submissions on plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary or expansion on alternative sites.

David Cameron has set up the Davis Commission to examine the options for increasing airport capacity.

But the commission will report in three years, whereas Mr Johnson's investigations are expected to finish within nine to 12 months.

The Mayor of London has been a long-standing opponent of expansion at Heathrow and according to The Daily Telegraph, he's disappointed with the coalition for failing to support his plans for a Thames Estuary airport.

The paper said he also feared the Government would perform a u-turn and support a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Johnson's new push on an estuary airport follows lunch with the Prime Minister near Chequers, the Prime Minister's country retreat, at the weekend.

Following the Olympics, Mr Johnson is seen by many as favourite to replace Mr Cameron.