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Boris Island Was Never Going To Be Built, Says Davies

Tuesday 2nd September 2014

The man in charge of the Airports Commission told LBC there was no point in continuing with the Boris Island Project as it was never going to be built.

Thames Hub Boris Island Airport

Sir Howard Davies ruled out the idea of a Thames Estuary Airport, focussing instead on expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

The decision left Boris Johnson in "disbelief" and said an extra runway at Heathrow would be an environmental disaster for London.

But Sir Howard told LBC that Boris Island was not realistic. He said: "We think it's too risky and too expensive.

"The prospect of relocating an airport the size of Heathrow 70 miles across a Global city is something which is very difficult to imagine. Nobody has done anything like that.

"The house building challenge in that area would be immense and the difficulty in producing new road and rail links in the Estuary for the new airport would be quite an awe-inspiring task."

The Mayor of London was not happy with the decision, saying: "In one myopic stroke the Airports Commission has set the debate back by half a century and consigned their work to the long list of vertically filed reports on aviation expansion that are gathering dust on a shelf in Whitehall." 

But Sir Howard suggested that Mr Johnson's rhetoric had not been helpful, adding: "I'm not sure that this kind of colourful prose takes us very much further forward. 

"We've been asked to do a careful analytical job. That's what we've done and I don't think it would make much sense for me to recommend something which I really don't think will ever be built."

The Airports Commission will make a recommendation to the incoming government in June next year.