UK 'needs' four-runway airport

The UK needs a four-runway airport if it wants to compete with other European hubs such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris, a report by a think tank said today.

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Government: Increasing air capacity 'vital to economy'

The strength with which the different options are put forward shows precisely why we were right to set up a proper independent review with the timescale to consider fully what is in the country's interest.

Maintaining the UK's status as a leading aviation hub is vital to our economy and history suggests that, without an agreed evidence base and a high degree of political consensus, it will not be possible to deliver a lasting solution that is right for the UK.

– A Department for Transport spokeswoman

Expanding air capacity would show 'Britain is open for business'

We can and should expand aviation capacity in south east England. Doing so will send a much needed signal to people that Britain is open for business.

It is possible to expand Heathrow in such a way that it cements itself as Europe's number one hub, while significantly reducing the noise nuisance over west London. A four-runway airport would be straightforward to construct and relatively low cost by the standards of hub airports. It causes the lowest level of disruption to the wider economy of any likely airport expansion scenario.

– Tim Leunig, chief economist at the liberal think tank CentreForum


UK needs a four-runway airport, say think tank

The UK needs a four-runway airport if it wants to compete with other European hubs such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris, a report by a think tank said today.

A view from the control tower at Heathrow. Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

The best option for the four runways would be immediately west of the current Heathrow site in west London, the report from Policy Exchange said.

An airport in Luton, Bedfordshire, would be the second best option.

The report said plans for an airport on Thames Estuary - nicknamed 'Boris island' because of The Mayor of London's support for that idea - were not practical but they did not rule out a third runway at Heathrow.

Europe 'eroding' UK advantage on aviation

Boris Johnson said the Government programme to address the "looming aviation capacity crunch" was far too slow. He added: "This continued inertia is being fully exploited by our European rivals who already possess mega hub airports that they intend to use to erode our advantage.

I will continue to work with the Government and the Davies Commission, but the urgency of the situation and the lamentable attention that the Government has paid to this pressing issue has forced me to accelerate the work that I will do to develop a credible solution."

London Mayor Boris Johnson delivering his speech this morning Credit: ITV News

"Heathrow is failing as a hub", get more on this story from ITV London.


UK heading for 'economic catastrophe' over aviation

London's Mayor tore apart key parts of the Government's aviation policy today, insisting a third runway at Heathrow airport was out of the question. Boris Johnson said delays in deciding what to do also risked "economic catastrophe" for Britain. He repeated his case for a new hub airport in London.

An independent commission is currently looking into the UK's airport capacity needs Credit: Press Association

Boris wants new airport in Thames Estuary

The possible estuary airport is a key part of Boris' vision Credit: PA Wire

Boris Johnson is calling on the Government to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

The London Britannia Airport (Boris Island) includes four floating runways tethered to the sea bed.

Dismissed as a vanity project by opponents, Boris Johnson remains committed to a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary as a way of easing pressure on Heathrow.

Why Boris Johnson is against third Heathrow runway

It is almost two years since Boris Johnson published a document calling for a new airport for London and he has consistently maintained his position since.

In his foreword to the January 2011 publication, Mr Johnson said Heathrow was "not the answer" and that Britain had failed to act on aviation.

He also said that Britain had been "paralysed by the difficulties surrounding aviation rather than recognising the opportunities".

Boris: Cameron's delays in aviation crisis are 'nonsensical'

The Government has been accused of kicking the aviation debate "into the long grass" by announcing that Sir Howard's full report will not be completed until summer 2015.

David Cameron postponed the Heathrow expansion decision until 2015 Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

It is thought Mr Johnson will today say that he considers this timescale "nonsensical" and that the commission could present its findings in 12 to 15 months.

He is also expected to tell his audience at City Hall in London that the delays in aviation policy are not only unnecessary but "artificial".

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