Boris Island airport plan would need billions in public subsidy

Marion Dakers
A NEW London airport in the Thames Estuary would need up to £30bn in public subsidy to make it viable, a report commissioned by MPs warned yesterday.

The commercial value of any newly built airport is likely to be significantly lower than the £20bn to £50bn it would cost to build, consultancy Oxera said in a report for the transport select committee, adding that a private investor would not take on the project without huge taxpayer support.

These figures do not include billions of pounds in compensation needed to convince airlines to move from Heathrow to a new hub.

By comparison, Oxera said it would cost between £14.3bn and £20.8bn to add at least one runway to all three existing major London airports.

The study cast doubt on the Thames Estuary plan, dubbed Boris Island after the Mayor came out in support of the idea, noting that it would be less well-connected than Heathrow or other airports.