London mayor Boris Johnson backs call for hub airport

18.1.2011 (BBC)

London mayor Boris Johnson has backed a report calling for a new airport in south-east

Overseen by Transport for London bosses, it claims the economy will suffer and
jobs lost to European competitors without a hub airport.

Mr Johnson said for London to remain at the centre of global business “we need
aviation links that will allow us to compete with our rivals”.

The government said it was working to develop more sustainable aviation.

Daniel Moylan, deputy chairman of Transport for London, oversaw the report which
was released on Tuesday.

It found, in terms of destinations served by worldwide international airports,
Heathrow had fallen from second in 1990 to seventh in 2010.

The number of destinations that can be directly accessed from Heathrow stood
at 157 compared to 224 from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and 235 from Frankfurt,
it said.

It concluded this showed London’s only hub airport was losing out to other European
airports which, if sustained, could have long-term damaging effects on both the
London and UK economies.

Mr Johnson said: “The capital’s airports are full, our runways are crammed and
we risk losing jobs to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid or other European cities should
we fail to act.

“No other city even approaches the volume of passengers handled at London’s airports
but we need to start planning for a brand new airport that can help meet the ever-increasing
demand for aviation and act as a hub, particularly to the rest of the UK.”

Aviation seminar

But in May plans for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow were scrapped
when the coalition government took office and Mr Johnson has been accused of being
at odds with the government’s aviation strategy.

A Department for Transport spokesman said the mayor’s suggestions would be considered
with regard to its aviation strategy.

But he said: “We have made clear that we do not support the construction of additional
runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.

“That is why we are working with interested parties to develop a new framework
for aviation which is more sustainable but still supports economic growth.”

Later the mayor is due to host a seminar on south-east England aviation capacity
attended by business leaders.
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