Boris Johnson orders £3 million feasibility study on London mega-hub airport – Thames estuary or Stansted

Boris has ordered a feasibility study costing £3 million to be carried out, to see whether Stansted could cope if developed.  A super high speed rail link cutting journey times to London to 25 minutes would also be built to support its growth – in Boris’s plan. He proposed the study in December and then in January published the criteria for his submission to the Airports Commission on the matter. These criteria include economic, infrastructure, airspace , surface access, environment (it gets a mention) and deliverability. The mayor’s transport adviser, Daniel Moylan, who will lead the feasibility study, said their initial analysis would mean looking in greater detail at 3 possible locations: inner Thames estuary, outer estuary and Stansted. The consultation on the criteria will run until February 8th.  In typical Boris fashion, he says such a huge hub airport would solve the UK’s aviation problems for 500 years. Difficult to take any of it seriously, especially after Boris’s recent climate sceptic pronouncements – he is not a believer in anthropogenic climate change, and backs Piers Corbyn.

Boris Johnson launches consultation over London mega-hub airport

By: Information Daily Staff Writer (The Information Daily)
January 11, 2013

The London Mayor pitches his ideas on the London multi-hub airport and kickstarting economic growth.

The Mayor of London has released a draft set of criteria that he believes would provide the fairest possible evaluation of the increasing number of plans proposed to solve the desperate need for more aviation capacity in the southeast.

Londoners and members of the aviation, business and political communities are being asked what they think about the new criteria.

Around 15 different proposals have already been made public and the Mayor has made it very clear that he wishes to see the speediest possible resolution to the debate on where to build a multi runway hub airport, so that the British economy is given the best chance to prosper in the face of huge competition from its global rivals.

Johnson’s draft criteria have been designed to reduce the plans already suggested to a more manageable number by applying rigorous tests of their viability.

“Anybody remotely serious about protecting the ability of the British economy to compete with our global rivals knows that this country desperately requires a multi runway hub airport of the kind being built in huge numbers around the rest of the world. Said the Mayor adding “My team has drafted a set of criteria that we believe can provide a firm basis for establishing which of the proposals would provide the best possible solution.”

An independent group of experts appointed to support the Mayor’s programme of work on aviation has already provided their input into drafting of the criteria, which are as follows:

Economic: The primary driver for an increase in aviation capacity is its economic impacts; it is essential that any proposals taken forward support regional and national economic objectives and maximise the economic and social benefits for the UK.

Airport infrastructure: Any new airport facilities should meet the needs of airlines, passengers and freight by enabling an efficient, effective, safe airport operation that is competitive with the best airports in the world.

Airspace: Aviation safety remains paramount. Any increase in aviation capacity must address conflicts with existing airports and comply with current and future airspace regulations, including the continuing ‘Single European Sky’ initiative.

Surface access: These criteria are designed to ensure that an airport has the required access provision: drawing on the widest pool of passengers, staff and freight will be essential to any airport’s success. Sufficient new road and rail capacity is integral to any airport option, and a high public transport access mode share will be key to ensuring sustainable airports. New-build airports such as Hong Kong have achieved a public transport access mode share in excess of 70%.

Environmental: The impacts of aviation on local communities and the natural environment must be minimised if any expansion of aviation is to be sustainable.

Deliverability: Any new aviation capacity must be capable of being delivered. This must take into account likely planning and construction issues and the need to secure funding.

The consultation on the criteria will run until February 8. Once agreed they will be used to form a shortlist of options from the range of proposals already made public. Options on the final shortlist will then be the subject of detailed feasibility studies that the Mayor of London will submit to the Davies Commission.

The Information Daily Metropolis Programme provides a platform supporting discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by the development of global cities




This is Boris’s climate sceptic blog in the Telegraph:


Blog by Boris Johnson in the Telegraph, on climate. Boris doesn’t believe in climate change or the impact of global CO2

Boris says If (Piers Corbyn) is right that will have big implications for agriculture, tourism, transport, aviation policy & the economy

Piers Corbyn is a well know climate sceptic, disbelieving in anthropogenic climate change. … And Boris thinks he’s great

Whatever Boris peddles in the way of a massive estuary hub, or a 4 runway Stansted, should be seen through the prism of his climate denial



and this bonkers report from the Daily Mail:

Boris to put Stansted back on the agenda for airport expansion with controversial plans for FOUR runways

  • Plan could be ‘compromise’ to Heathrow expansion and £50bn Boris Island
  • £3m feasibility study into four runway Stansted to be launched
  • Boris’ transport adviser says it could solve aviation problems for 500 years
  • But Stansted has been at the centre of years of anti-expansion protests


18 December 2012 (Daily Mail)

Stansted could be transformed into a four-runway international super-airport in a plan that would solve Britain’s aviation problems for up to 500 years, it has emerged today.

Boris Johnson is to suggest expanding the Essex airport into one of the world’s biggest as he fights  tooth and nail to block a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Johnson’s first choice has always been to build his £50billion ‘Boris Island’ airport in the Thames estuary but Stansted now appears to be considered a credible alternative.

Stansted Extension Map.jpg

It is understood he will now order a £3million detailed feasibility study to consider if ‘compromise option’ Stansted could cope if transformed.

A super high speed rail link – cutting the journey time to London to 25 minutes – would also be built to support its growth.

In theory it would then go from Britain’s third airport to its largest, dwarfing Heathrow and its 70 million passengers per year.

Plans: Boris Johnson could put Stansted forward as a ‘compromise’ as he wants to stop expansion at Heathrow at all costs

This idea will be handed as an option to Sir Howard Davies’ official inquiry into the future of aviation in Britain.

If suitable, Stansted’s growth could be put at the heart of the Conservative’s 2015 general election manifesto as a fall-back from Boris Island and building a third runway at Heathrow.

But it will still be highly controversial as proposals for a second runway there have already led to years of protests from people living under its flighpath.

Stansted has been targeted by many protests including one where more than 50 people burst onto its runway and shut it down for more than five hours.

Celebrities including Jamie Oliver have also joined other protests.

Despite this longstanding problem it appears City Hall could be willing to risk adding runways there to solve aviation capacity problems in the south-east.

‘Our initial analysis would lead us to look in greater detail at three possible locations: inner estuary; outer estuary; and Stansted,’ the Mayor’s key transport adviser Daniel Moylan told the Times, and he will also lead the feasibility study.

‘The mayor has a strong bias towards regeneration and so he is very much inclined to the view that it should be to the east of London, because that will be transformational for East London.

Historic: People living around Stansted have fought for years to block a second runway at the airport
Historic: People living around Stansted have fought for years to block a second runway at the airport


‘A new airport to the east would still be making its effects felt in 400 or 500 years. For these purposes we would consider Stansted to be in the east.’

The mayor’s number one plan airport has been nicknamed Boris Island in his honour as he has championed the idea to build it on an artificial island made of landfill.

It would become Britain’s main international hub, handling 300,000 passengers a day.

If it happens the scheme is expected to be designed by eminent architect Lord Foster on a sparse strip of land on the Isle of Grain in Kent, which juts out into the Thames estuary on an artificial island.




Mayor of London Boris Johnson backs four-runway Stansted plan

 December 22, 2012 (Essex Chronicle)

By James Drummond

STANSTED could be transformed into a four runway airport if the Mayor of London gets his way.

Boris Johnson looks set to include the airport in a £3 million feasibility study into creating a South East airport super-hub.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson backs four-runway Stansted plan

Mayor of London Boris Johnson backs four-runway Stansted plan

The Mayor of London is opposed to expansion at Heathrow in west London, and said back in October that he favoured an airport to the east of the capital.

It was widely assumed that his £50 billion “Boris Island” idea in the Thames Estuary was the preferred option, but Stansted has emerged as a strong ‘compromise candidate’.

The detailed feasibility study will consider whether Stansted, which currently caters for 17 million passengers a year, could cope if transformed.

In August the Competition Commission ruled airport operator BAA must sell Stansted.

It is thought Mr Johnson is trying to keep Stansted in the spotlight in case the Thames estuary option proves too costly.

But a Stansted Airport spokesman said this week that it plans to expand on the basis of a single-runway infrastructure.

He told the Chronicle: “Our strategy is to fill the available capacity on the current runway.

“The airport has permission and the facilities to serve 35 million passengers a year, but we’re currently handling 17 million.”

The spokesman said that the airport was campaigning to improve rail journey times between the airport and London and welcomed the announcement of the Davies Commission, the official inquiry into the future of British aviation.

If the plan goes ahead, a super high speed rail link – cutting rail times to London to 25 minutes – would also be built.

But anti-expansion campaigners at Stansted have questioned why the Mayor of London is so opposed to building a third runway at Heathrow.

“You can’t just pluck a couple of options out of the air and simply ignore others,” said Brian Ross, of Stop Stansted Expansion.

“Boris’ policy seems to be ‘anywhere but Heathrow’. It makes no financial sense, as so many businesses are located on the M4 corridor.

“Boris is so brazen, so self-confident that he can lull people into thinking Stansted is a viable option for this super-hub, whereas anyone who actually thinks about it knows it’s bonkers.

“If this plan gets off the ground it would be a nightmare.”

Under Mr Johnson’s plans, Heathrow would downsize to a small international airport — it currently serves 70 million passengers a year — as the new hub takes over.

In a written mayoral decision, Mr Johnson said: “This will include a range of technical assessments to enable the feasibility of a number of options, including engineering feasibility, to be properly considered and tested; consideration of surface access implications; environmental impacts; socio-economic impacts and commercial viability.”