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Thu, Jan 17, 2013

London Airport Debate Heating Up Again

Mayor Of The City Asks For Input From Airline Industry, Residents, Businesses

The Mayor of London is seeking public input on how to solve the city's airport capacity shortage, reaching out to the airline industry, city residents, and businesses. He has drafted criteria that will help planners narrow the possible options with a goal of adding capacity southeast of the city.

Mayor Boris Johnson has long been a proponent of an airport that would be built in the Thames estuary, a position that has earned the airport idea the name "Boris Island." The airport would actually float on the water. It's an idea that has drawn criticism from environmentalists as well as those apposed to its estimated $96 billion cost.

The online site Buying Business Travel reports that Johnson strongly opposes a third runway at Heathrow. But, he says Britain "desperately requires a multi-runway hub airport of the kind being built in huge numbers around the rest of the world" in order to stay competitive in the global economy. “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,” he said.

The consultation period will be open until February 8. When they are compiled, the results will be submitted to the Davies Commission, which has been charged by the UK Government with studying airport capacity.

A parallel investigation is being conducted by the London Assembly's transport committee, which has already held one public meeting, and plans a second on February 6.

(File image of proposed Thames Estuary airport)

FMI: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

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