Mayor sets out stall for air hub in east London

Marion Dakers
BORIS Johnson yesterday urged the government to back his plan for a new four-runway airport in east London.

The Mayor of London yesterday said a large hub airport would give Britain the best chance to connect to emerging cities in Asia and Latin America.

In a submission to the government’s commission on air capacity, Johnson said Heathrow Airport lacks the space to establish such links.

“To get the flights we need, it has to be four runways operating efficiently in one place rather than spread haphazardly across the south east,” he said in a statement.

Johnson has previously lobbied for a new hub in the Thames Estuary, though he said yesterday an enlarged Stansted would also improve the south east of England’s links to emerging markets.

His preferred options would allow London airlines to fly to 20 per cent more destinations compared to building single runways at several airports.

Analysis by York Aviation on behalf of Transport for London found that by 2050, London could serve 435 destinations if a four-runway hub were built, compared to 358 if six runways were spread across three sites.

The Davies Commission, set up by the coalition last year, is taking submissions on the best way to beef up aviation capacity in Britain. The panel is due to make preliminary findings at the end of the year and a formal recommendation in 2015.