Mr Johnson said that his team would continue to make the case for a new airport to the east of London.
The Airports Commission, which has a brief from government to advise on how best to meet future aviation capacity, said this morning (2nd September) that it was no longer considering the option popularly known as Boris Island. Instead it is focusing on options centred on additional runway capacity at the existing airports of Heathrow or Gatwick. (See previous report here.)
Mr Johnson said that dropping the Thames estuary option effectively killed off the entire airports review as no sane politician could ever sanction further Heathrow expansion and a second runway at Gatwick was not a long-term solution.
He said: “In one myopic stroke the Airports Commission has set the debate back by half a century and consigned their work to the long list of vertically filed reports on aviation expansion that are gathering dust on a shelf in Whitehall. Gatwick is not a long term solution and Howard Davies must explain to the people of London how he can possibly envisage that an expansion of Heathrow, which would create unbelievable levels of noise, blight and pollution, is a better idea than a new airport to the east of London that he himself admits is visionary, and which would create the jobs and growth this country needs to remain competitive. It remains the only credible solution, any process that fails to include it renders itself pretty much irrelevant, and I’m absolutely certain that it is the option that will eventually be chosen.”
The Mayor added that, in rejecting the possibility of a new airport, the commission had ignored the opportunity to drive regeneration of east London and the Thames Gateway. In his vision, an airport in the estuary would also free up Heathrow to provide homes for up to 190,000 residents.