Daniel Moylan given space in the Standard to push for estuary airport

Daniel Moylan, a very well paid close aide of Boris Johnson, has been given space in the Evening Standard (carrying on its campaign to give as much prominence as it can to any view proposing a new runway or airport) to push for an estuary airport.  The article contains some truly stunning statements and mis truths.  Such as needing 4 or 5 runways at an airport in order to successfully trade with China, and that Heathrow barely serves China. (It actually has more flights to Hong Kong and China than its European rivals). In an earlier statement in May,  Daniel Moylan somewhat bizarrely said the airport in the Thames Estuary would “have huge long-term benefits. It’s not an exaggeration to say the effects will still be felt in 500 years’ time.” 


“We need a proper modern airport: get on with it”

by Daniel Moylan  – who is deputy chairman of Transport for London, and a close aide of Boris Johnson.

18 June 2012  (Evening Standard)

Is the Government serious about producing an aviation policy for Britain?

Britain is an island: most people get here and leave by air. British governments have usually found it convenient to forget this fact.

The last government to legislate for a new London airport was Ted Heath’s, but plans for an airport at Maplin, Essex, were scrapped by Labour in 1974. While the Dutch, Germans and French set about creating major international hub airports, British governments practised masterly inactivity.

Then in 2003, Tony Blair’s government threw itself behind a BAA plan to build a third runway at Heathrow. That proved politically impossible because of opposition from the large number of people who lived in the vicinity. But it also provoked the question: was Heathrow the right basket into which to put so many of our aviation eggs?

Even before he became Mayor in 2008, Boris Johnson had seen that the third runway was a dead duck. It imposed an unacceptable burden on west London residents. But it was also a cop-out, a way of avoiding a crucial question: how is London to remain a major world city capable of attracting the international investment and corporate headquarters that support so much employment and prosperity? You can’t do that if you don’t have a proper modern airport.

And Heathrow can never grow to match its rivals in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. Even if a short third runway can be shoe-horned into the site, there is no room for the fourth and fifth runways needed for British businesses to trade with the world,  [Wot ??] especially with the emerging economies in Latin America and China that Heathrow barely serves. [This paragraph really is filled with unjustifiable statements. Heathrow has more connections with China, which included Hong Kong, than any of its European rival airports. See below]. 

Supporters of the third runway say it can be delivered quickly while a new airport would be decades away. But there is no sense in doing the wrong thing just because you can do it quickly. Instead we need to give careful thought to what the country needs, and then display the political leadership and management skills to deliver it.

This is where the Government comes in. Ministers are engaged in analysis of the options so deep that to date nothing has surfaced apart from a few questions and a handful of high-level principles. The latest document promised in this glacial process was due out in March. It is now expected in late summer. It will ask the public important questions such as, “What is a hub airport?”

Having heard the public’s answer, the Government will ruminate until at least Easter 2013 before telling us what it might do next.

Meanwhile, the Treasury is rumoured to be swinging behind the third runway, and the Mayor warns of an electric fence around that idea. Stalemate looms, the sort of stalemate that needs to be sorted out by No 10.

But is it possible that the Government’s strategy is to long-grass this question beyond the next election, by offering just enough nods and winks to the various campaigners to keep them persuaded that action is imminent? Shilly-shallying of that sort would be in a long tradition of maintaining Britain’s policy vacuum on aviation while our neighbours outflank us. I am sure that David Cameron can do better than that.

Daniel Moylan is deputy chairman of Transport for London.





Number of passengers to China from Heathrow and its rivals

The data  below  show that there are many more passengers flying to China from Heathrow, (considering Hong Kong as China) in years for which data can be found. Though Heathrow may lack a few direct flights to a couple of regional airports in China, it appears to have more passengers travelling to and from China  than Frankfurt, or Paris, or Schiphol. Figures below are for Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (not other regionals).

About 1,113,000 passengers for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

About 757,100  passengers for Frankfurt Airport. (2010)

About 1,061,500 passengers for Schiphol (2009)

And 2,074,826 passengers to China including Hong Kong in 2011 for Heathrow.

And 1,993,593 passengers to China including Hong Kong in 2010 for Heathrow.  And2,065,130 passengers  in 2009.


 AirportBeijingShanghaiHong KongTotal
2011275,058331,7561,386,564 2,074,826
Paris CDG ? 2010? 2011??512,000601,0001,113,000
Frankfurt 2010270,500264,900221,700 757,100
Schiphol 2009???1,016,518

Details  below




Total annual passengers at Heathrow and its European rivals

For total passengers using the airports, in the 2008 ranking, Heathrow was 3rd in the world, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta with 90,039,200 and O’Hare Chicago  69,353,600.  Heathrow has many more than even its nearest rival inEurope, Paris Charles de Gaulle.


3. Heathrow                              2008     67,056,200                        2011    69,433,230

5. Paris-Charles de Gaulle   2008     60,852,000                        2011   60,970,551

9. Frankfurt                               2008     53,467,450                        2011   56,440,000

11.MadridBarajas                   2008     50,823,100                        2011   49,662,512

14.AmsterdamSchiphol         2008     47,429,700                        2011   49,755,252

  (2008 data from Airports Council International)   (2011 data, Wikipedia)


How many flights does Heathrow actually have to the emerging economies?

March 5, 2012    There have been letters in the Sunday Times and in the Sunday Telegraph from lists of business people, in support of airport expansion in the south east, and demanding reconsideration of a third runway at Heathrow. They claim that Heathrow is lagging behind Schiphol, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt airport in the number of flights to the emerging and rapidly growing economies. And that therefore the UK will be condemned to an economic backwater if vast amounts of concrete are not poured, and another runway is not provided. But what is the actual situation? Are there really not enough flights to emerging economies from Heathrow? Are the numbers to some destinations low just because there really is not the demand (however much UK business might like there to be the demand)? We investigate what flights there really are from Heathrow already.  Click here to view full story…





Daniel Moylan wrote  two halves of a report, in 2011, putting forward the economic and business case for a new hub airport for London.

Mayor of London, “A new airport for London: Part 1 – The Case for New Capacity“, January 2011
Mayor of London, “A new airport for London: Part Two – the economic benefits of a new airport”, November 2011

Daniel Moylan has promoted his view in the Standard on his enthusiasm for the estuary airport before:


Thames estuary airport ‘would boost London for next 500 years’

15 May 2012

A new hub airport in the Thames estuary would transform London and bring benefits that will last for more than 500 years, Boris Johnson’s top aviation adviser said today.

Daniel Moylan, one of the Mayor’s closest aides, told the Standard the aviation crisis is now so serious that unless it is tackled urgently by the Government, Britain’s premier hub airport will soon be Amsterdam Schiphol.

The Mayor has championed a £50 billion four-runway airport to the east of the capital rather than further expansion of Heathrow. Mr Moylan, who is also responsible for the Olympic legacy, said an estuary site would lift the economic prospects of east London and the Thames Gateway region in a way no other government policy could.

He added: “Building this airport will be transformative for London and the Thames Estuary in a major way and have huge long-term benefits. It’s not an exaggeration to say the effects will still be felt in 500 years’ time.”  [Well of course, remains of the concrete etc will still be there, and the damaged habitats].

Mr Moylan, a former deputy chairman of Transport for London, warned that without a major new airport capable of operating 24 hours a day, “London will be reduced to the aviation equivalent of a country station on a branch line for which the main terminal is Paris or Amsterdam”. He said Schiphol already had three times as many direct connections to British regional airports as Heathrow. A similar failure to invest in docks in the Sixties led to Rotterdam becoming “Britain’s biggest port”.

The Government has said it will look at options for boosting London’s airport capacity in a review starting next month, although it has ruled out a third Heathrow runway. Mr Moylan criticised airlines that have campaigned for a new runway there, and urged them to back the “patriotic” option of a new hub.

He said: “The airlines say they prefer Heathrow. But if you look at International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, they are already thinking what they could do if Britain’s aviation policy remains frozen. Their ownership of Iberia means they will probably look at expanding in Madrid but they should be looking to move to a new British airport that will accommodate all their needs for 100 years.” Today a group of tourism and business bosses demanded an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor about the aviation crisis.

In a letter in the Standard the business leaders, who include John Longworth of the British Chambers of Commerce and private equity boss Jon Moulton, said: “The UK economy is growing less quickly than it otherwise could, and we are losing business — and associated tax revenues — to continental Europe.” In the House of Lords last night Conservative peers urged ministers to abandon their opposition to new runways.

Lord Tugendhat, former chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Heathrow and Gatwick are two great national assets and the expansion of both would do wonders for the economy.” But government transport spokesman Earl Attlee said London was already “maxed out” on the number of planes it could tolerate overhead.

and it goes on ….