‘Boris Island’ airport to be discussed by London Assembly on 11th March

10.2.2010   (This is local London)
by David Mills

AN EXPERT in constructing airports on artificial islands will brief the London
Assembly on building an airport in the Thames Estuary next month.

Leading civil engineer Douglas Oakervee found building an airport on the site
was technically feasible, after he was asked to look into the idea by
Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The proposed £40bn project nicknamed ‘Boris Island’ has come under a barrage
of criticism in recent months and faces opposition from local councils and wildlife

Now Mr Oakervee will deliver his report on March 11 to discuss the potential
environmental impacts of the plan.

Chair of the environment committee on the assembly, Murad Qureshi, said: "The
idea of a new airport in the Thames estuary has been floating around for quite
some time, and has generally been dismissed as something that is never realistically
going to happen.

"But with the Mayor promoting the idea again, including commissioning a feasibility
study and setting up a steering group, we feel it is our duty to look into the
issue on behalf of Londoners because if it were to go ahead there could be major
environmental implications.

"We hope Mr Oakervee will be able to shed some light on the feasibility and potential
impacts of the proposal at our meeting next month."

Last year Dartford Council leader Councillor Jeremy Kite branded the plan "ridiculous" and warned of possible
bird strikes if an airport were built.

Cllr Kite’s fears were echoed by the RSPB as the site lies in the midst of large

Kent County Council and Medway Council also slammed the proposals.

Mr Johnson wants to build another airport near London as an alternative to a
third runway at Heathrow, which according to reports, could be built in 10 years.

Mr Oakervee, who was behind Hong Kong’s international airport, has previously
said a four-runway airport across two islands, linked to mainland terminals by
bridges or tunnels, is a possibility.
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