Boris: Building new Heathrow runway is “investing in decline”

Airports commission is pulling wool over nation’s eyes, claims mayor

Boris Johnson has penned a stinging 30-page attack on the prospect of a third runway at Heathrow, as recommended by the Airports Commission.

Johnson said that the commission’s own report showed that an extra runway at Heathrow would not solve capacity problems and said that going ahead with the project would be “investing in decline”.

“The Airports Commission has spent several years in the production of a gigantic ball of wool that they are now attempting to pull over the eyes of the nation,” Johnson said.

“The figures teased out of their report on the fall in domestic and even long haul connectivity show that as a nation, by expanding Heathrow, we would merely be investing in decline. Their report very clearly shows that a third runway will fail both London and the UK on every level.”

Boris Johnson

Boris has long campaigned for a new four-runway “hub airport” to be built in the Thames Estuary, but the Airports Commission rejected it due to its £112bn price tag – about five times more than the proposed alternatives including expanding Heathrow and Gatwick by one runway each.

“Our great nation is sleepwalking its way towards becoming a bit-part player in the aviation world,” Johnson added. “Now is the time for boldness. Now is the time to build an airport that can fulfil the needs of every corner of the UK.”

The government will give its verdict on moves to tackle the airport capacity problem by the end of the year, David Cameron has promised.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “The Airports Commission has been unanimous and unambiguous that only expansion of Heathrow will keep Britain as a leading aviation hub and it can do so while still meeting environmental targets and being fair to local communities.

“It concludes that expanding Heathrow would enhance connections between the UK regions and London and its associated onward connectivity.”

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