Heathrow expansion will fail the country, says London mayor

8 September 2015 (Last Updated September 8th, 2015 02:00)

London mayor Boris Johnson has sent a 30-page dossier to MPs, opposing Airports Commission's recommendation to expand Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow airport 1

London mayor Boris Johnson has sent a 30-page dossier to MPs, opposing Airports Commission's recommendation to expand Heathrow Airport.

The new runway at Heathrow would prove to be a failure, and will leave the country behind the American and Asian countries in the aviation industry, he 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."

"Our great nation is sleepwalking its way towards becoming a bit part player in the aviation world," Johnson added.

Residents living under the flight paths will be subjected to increased noise pollution. The number of people affected due to these environmental issues will increase by 250,000 to reach one million, he observed.

The Airports Commission, in July, has recommended a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It was looking into various options, including a second runway at Gatwick and a new airport, to expand the country's aviation capacity.

Estimated to require an investment of £22.6bn, the proposed expansion is expected to add £147bn to the economy and create 70,000 jobs by 2050.

Johnson has been supporting the construction of a new airport on the Thames estuary, which, he says, would result in 50% more routes overall and double the number of domestic routes.

"This is the time to ignore the pleas of the largely foreign owners of Heathrow, and to back a solution that is better for hundreds of thousands of local people, better for the economy, and better for British business as well," Johnson wrote on his website.


Image: The disputed Heathrow Airport. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited.