Confederation of British Industry calls for new London airport hub

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 1, 2014 16:18

Confederation of British Industry calls for new London airport hub

The UK’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has issued a report calling for a new hub airport to be built to service London, and described the proposal as essential for preserving trading links to emerging markets and for ensuring long-term growth.

Its report comes ahead of a decision on whether to build an all-new island airport in the Thames estuary.

The so-called “Boris Island” airport, backed by London mayor Boris Johnson, has been under consideration by the Airports Commission, charged by the government on how to expand airport capacity in the UK.

If the Commission decides to eliminate the estuary scheme from consideration, it would be left with three shortlisted options for expansion – adding a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, and a new runway at Gatwick.

“Connectivity is the lifeblood of trade,” CBI Deputy Director-General Katja Hall said. “We need to see the Airports Commission deliver a strong case for new capacity and a clear schedule for delivery, and politicians to commit to spades-in-the-ground by the end of the next Parliament.”

Hall added: “While no one can predict the future of air travel, the track record shows that it tends to be hub airports that deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need.”

A second runway at Gatwick could cost as little as £5bn, versus £14bn for a third runway at Heathrow, which is more constrained by urban development. The estuary option is the most expensive at £65bn.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “A third runway [at Heathrow] is so desperately short-sighted. You could not conceivably get it built before 2029, by the airport’s own admission – and as soon as it opened it would be full.”

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 1, 2014 16:18