‘Boris island’ is an unfundable white elephant, says boss of Dubai airport

Paul Griffiths, the British boss of Dubai airport, one of the world’s fastest growing airports in the world,  says Boris’s proposal for an £80 billion, 4-runway hub in the Thames Estuary is “unfundable” and a potential white elephant.  (He wants a Heathrow 3rd runway instead, of course). Of the Thames airport plan, he said it requires all  the expense of investing in the project without the productivity arising from it, and at the same time you are forcing other airports in the London system to stop growing.  Fundamentally, he said, the location of the estuary is wrong, and though transport links to it would be hugely expensive, the airport would not be used.  “Many cities have built large airports out of town and as a result have constructed white elephants because they are not successful. Montreal is a very good example.”He will say more at an AOA conference on October 22-23.



‘Boris island’ is an unfundable white elephant, says boss of Dubai airport

‘Unfundable’: The boss of Dubai airport urges a third Heathrow runway
12.10.2012  (Evening Standard)
The British boss of one of the world’s fastest growing airports says Boris Johnson’s proposal for an £80 billion, four-runway hub in the Thames Estuary is “unfundable” and a potential white elephant.

Paul Griffiths, who runs Dubai airport, urged the Government to back a third runway at Heathrow because “Boris island” cannot be built in time to tackle the South-East’s aviation crisis.

He contrasted Heathrow — which is near full capacity at 68 million passengers annually — with Dubai, which by 2014 will have doubled capacity to 90 million passengers and is set to become the world’s largest hub by 2018 thanks to pro-aviation government policy.

He told the Standard: “It shows how far behind the UK is likely to continue to trail in the industry.

“Heathrow needs to be expanded now because of the immediate pressure on growth. Maybe Boris island is the solution for the future but I don’t think it is possible to build it in time. You’ve got all the expense of investing in that project without the productivity arising from it and at the same time you are forcing airports in the London system to become ex growth.”

Mr Griffiths, who moved from Gatwick airport to the Middle East, will be a speaker at the Airport Operators’ Association conference in London on October 22-23.

His comments will be a setback to the Mayor, who in a keynote speech last week insisted that a new island site is the main solution to the looming “economic catastrophe” in the region’s clogged skies. Mr Griffiths said the standoff between Mr Johnson and the Government, which has commissioned an aviation report to be published after the election, was “very sad”.

He believes there are three major obstacles to the Boris island concept: it is “unfundable”, it would damage the environment and also the rail and road links would be hugely expensive.

“The success of an airport is mostly down to its location and ground transport,” he said.

“Many cities have built large airports out of town and as a result have constructed white elephants because they are not successful. Montreal is a very good example.” (see info on Montreal airport below).

He said more capacity could be created from Heathrow’s two runways by introducing night flights, changing the flight profile of planes and operating runways more flexibly. “The capacity can be increased without actually taking any more landings,” he added.






More about Montreal Mirabel airport:

on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montr%C3%A9al-Mirabel_International_Airport


North America’s Largest Airport

from http://www.cracked.com/article_19617_the-6-most-mind-blowing-modern-ghost-towns_p2.html

Via Wikipedia

Montreal-Mirabel International Airport was the largest airport ever envisioned, with a planned surface area of 397 square kilometers. That’s larger than Montrealthe city that it served.

Via Wikimedia Commons
The first thing cut from the plans was “restraint.”

It was designed to handle 50 million passengers a year. There was a subway system just for the airport, a high-speed rail system to and from the city and underground roads that led directly to the terminals themselves. If it sounds lavish, it was: Initial price tags were estimated at about a billion dollars.

The airport opened in 1975, just in time for the Summer Olympics being held in Montreal. And everything was great!

Until the Olympics ended.

Then the government realized that their projections of passengers flying into Montreal were way, way off.

Via Designkultur.wordpress.com

Canada tried to save the airport by requiring all international flights for the city to land at Montreal-Mirabel, rather than the current (and much more conveniently located) Dorval Airport. The international response? Everybody shrugged and collectively decided: “Eh, we could do without Montreal.” Most flights decided to skip the city entirely, and headed to Toronto instead.

Via Designkultur.wordpress.com
“Wait! No, we were just kidding, eh!”

Today, only a small part of Montreal-Mirabel still functions … as a cargo airport. The rest is either empty or has been sold off to private parties. Which turns out to have been a good thing, as for once the investors saw something as cool as an abandoned airport and didn’t think “condos” or “private landing strip”; they thought “Hey, let’s go play there.” The passenger terminal area has been turned into a racetrack, complete with defensive driving classes and a go-kart school, and there’s talk of transforming the rest into a giant space/water park, which we didn’t even know was a thing before this sentence, but have now dedicated our entire lives to bringing about its culmination.