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London Mayor’s Proposed “Boris Island” Airport Suffers Blow


Airport Commission cites economic problems, potential project woes, in London Mayor’s Plan

Noting a number of concerns, including high costs and strategic uncertainties, the British Airport Commission on Tuesday denied a London airport plan put forward by Mayor Boris Johnson. According to the AP, the proposed so-called “Boris Island” would have added a brand-new modern airport to the Thames Estuary.

In the publicly released report, the commission states that while the proposed airport is an “imaginative” solution that would create jobs and additional air traffic opportunities, the disadvantages outweigh potential benefits. “Cumulative obstacles to delivery, high costs and uncertainties in relation to its economic and strategic benefits contribute to an assessment that an [Inner Thames Estuary] airport proposal does not represent a credible option for shortlisting,” the commission wrote in the report.

The New York Times reports that the estimated price tag of the proposed airport could have been up to $150 billion. If the proposal was accepted, the new airport would have featured four runways with a potential capacity of 170 million passengers per year.

Despite the blowback, representatives for Johnson vow to keep fighting for the new airport. “Airports policy has been stalled for nearly five decades, ricocheting like a billiard ball between Heathrow [LHR] and Gatwick [LGW],” Daniel Moylan, an advisor to Johnson, told the BBC. “We have only one opportunity to break out of that but it seems the Commission has taken us back to the same old failed choice.”

The Airport Commission will now consider three “shortlist” options, including increasing capacity at LHR, or adding a second runway at LGW. According to the Financial Times, a final report is expected in the summer of 2015.

[Photo: iStock]

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