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10.05.13

Heathrow needs third runway – transport committee

The Government should reject ‘Boris Island’ and expand Heathrow airport instead, MPs have recommended.

The House of Commons Transport Committee warned that constructing a new airport on the Thames Estuary would be hugely expensive. It could also harm estuary wildlife.

The Committee says that a third and potentially even a fourth runway at Heathrow are necessary, but this would face significant opposition by residents and councils in west London.

Committee chairwoman Louise Ellman MP said: “Research we commissioned made plain that building an entirely new hub airport east of London could not be done without huge public investment in new ground transport infrastructure.

“Evidence to our inquiry also showed a substantial potential impact on wildlife habitat in the Thames Estuary. The viability of an estuary hub airport would also require the closure of Heathrow – a course of action that would have unacceptable consequences.”

Johnson said: “The committee is bang on the button in saying we need a proper hub airport.

“But, by suggesting that Heathrow should double its runways from two to four, the committee is putting four fingers up to hundreds of thousands of Londoners. London and the wider UK do need a hub airport that can operate 24 hours a day without constraint and the only place that is possible is to the east of London.”

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Image c. Heathrow

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