Boris says Heathrow expansion would “fail the nation”

CHE03115dThe Mayor of London has described plans to expand Heathrow Airport as “failing London and failing the nation on every single level” as he continues his campaign against the Airport.

He has written to every Member of Parliament and peer to say that he believes that if a third runway were built at Heathrow it would serve fewer long haul and fewer domestic destinations by 2030 than it does today.

His 30 page dossier attempts to discredit the Airports Commission’s recommendation that Heathrow be expanded. As well as the suggestion that an expanded Heathrow would offer six fewer daily long haul destinations in 2030 and just a single new daily long haul destination by 2050, when compared to today, it also alleges that the Airports Commission’s own numbers suggest that only four UK cities would have a connection to an expanded Heathrow in 2030 – three fewer than today.

He also suggests that the night flight ban would constrain the growth in long haul routes, detering potential new low cost carrier entrants like easyJet.

Continuing his campaign for a new airport in the Thames Estuary – the “Boris Island” concept roundly rejected by Sir Howard Davies early in his deliberations – the Mayor of London said: “The Airports Commission has spent several years in the production of a gigantic ball of wool that they are now attempting to pull over the eyes of the nation. The figures teased out of their report on the fall in domestic and even long haul connectivity show that as a nation, by expanding Heathrow, we would merely be investing in decline. Their report very clearly shows that a third runway will fail both London and the UK on every level. Our great nation is sleepwalking its way towards becoming a bit part player in the aviation world. Now is the time for boldness. Now is the time to build an airport that can fulfil the needs of every corner of the UK.”

Boris argues that the idea of a new four runway hub airport were discarded prematurely by the Airports Commission and says the Government should review the full body of evidence and revisit potential locations for such an airport.

Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business disagrees. He commented: “Boris needs to get off his island and visit the real world.

“West London is the UK’s second largest economic powerhouse after the centre of London.  Our economic success and job security over the past 70 years has been intrinsically linked to the global gateway for trade that Heathrow provides.

“Heathrow has changed the location of their third runway proposals in response to local concerns.  They have clearly evidenced how they will contribute to meeting London’s air quality targets – and increased their proposed investment in noise insulation for local homes and schools.

“The airport is also taking a leading role in reducing CO2 emissions from aviation, an industry-wide challenge.  I would invite Boris to look at the new proposals and back Heathrow – the only plan that can realistically ensure London and Britain remains a credible location for businesses large and small to trade internationally.”

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