Thames Estuary Airport

MQT on 2008-11-12
Session date: 
November 12, 2008
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What would be the environmental implications of a new airport in the Thames Estuary?


Answer for Thames Estuary Airport

Answer for Thames Estuary Airport

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Why should I give a very quick answer to such a huge and important and interesting subject, but I will. The environmental implications, Jenny [Jones], of a new airport in the Thames Estuary depend entirely on where that airport was to be situated, the scale of the airport. Whatever we did it would have a less environmental impact than increasing by a factor of at least 50% the volume of planes flying over the central conurbation of London and greatly eroding the quality of lives for millions of people in London, which is the option currently being pursued by the Government and its supporters over there.

Jenny Jones (AM): Thank you and thank you for being so brief, that was very kind of you. The fact is I am going to put to one side for a moment the high risk of bird strike - because it is a protection area and Ryanair was brought down the other day by bird strike, it is a very big factor - I am going to put aside the fact that there are believed to be 1,500 tonnes of explosives in the area that you want to put the airport from a --

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): You mean in the Richard Montgomery [SS Richard Montgomery]?

Jenny Jones (AM): Exactly. I am going to ask you about the fact that you said that the feasibility report will draw upon in-house expertise and imposes no extra cost to the GLA. You have in fact hired Douglas Oakervee to oversee the plans. Is he working for nothing?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Well, the exact terms on which Doug is going to do his work are yet to be set, but I see my friend Kit [Malthouse] announces that Doug Oakervee is a very, very -- I mean you could not ask for a more distinguished civil engineer, a man who built the Hong Kong airport. He is going to do it for free. I think Londoners should be very grateful to him for his services and I see Len Duvall approves as well.

Jenny Jones (AM): I will write to him at once. Thank you very much. I am out of time.