1946 – Cliffe rejected as an airport location in favour of Heathrow, flying boat operation suggested instead.

1948 – Flying boat plans dropped.

1954 – Cliffe rejected in favour of Gatwick.

1963 – Cliffe rejected in favour of Stansted, Foulness identified as a potential third London airport option.

1966 – Recommendation that Cliffe option be further considered at Stansted public inquiry.

1967 – Cliffe rejected as an airport option again.

1968–1971 – Roskill Commission finally selects Foulness (Maplin Sands) as option for an airport. The risk to the nature conservation importance of the estuary was apparent but un-quantifiable – leading to the establishment of the Birds of Estuaries Inquiry (run by the BTO) the forerunner of the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBs) which continues to provide vital information to support wise decision-making to this day. Foulness kick-started the modern objective evidence-led approach to site protection.

1974 – Plans to build an airport on Maplin Sands off Foulness, Essex were scrapped.

1979 – Further promotion and consideration of the Maplin option (at a smaller scale) was rejected by the Government.

2002 – South East and East of England Regional Air Services consultation once again brought Cliffe into consideration prompting the RSPB to launch No Airport at Cliffe. A second proposal on the Hoo Peninsula (Thames Reach) appeared.

2003 – Aviation White Paper rules out the Estuary airport at Cliffe on the grounds of cost, environment damage and a greater risk of birdstrike. Thames Reach proposal also rejected.

2008 – London Mayor Boris Johnson begins serious promotion of an estuary airport as an alternative to a third runway at Heathrow – this continues a series of such proposals dating back to the 1980s.

2009 – Douglas Oakavee issues a preliminary assessment of ‘Boris Island’ and recommends further studies.

2012 – The Thames Estuary is included in the Government’s Strategic Review of Aviation as an option for the site of a hub airport.

2013 – The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, produces a shortlist comprising two runway options at Heathrow and one at Gatwick. The Commission rejects all Thames Estuary airport proposals whilst giving Lord Foster’s proposal on the Isle of Grain more time to provide further evidence.