please empty your brain below

Johnson popularity is media based, effectively as a journalist you can just turn up, no work required - he'll do all the work for you, a quote, a stunt.

Many of the new intake of Tory MPs regard him as part of the previous Cameron generation, rather than a step into the future, the grass roots will want something more substantial.
Boris island back again.
The amount of our money that has been wasted by Boris Johnson on vanity projects must be several millions.

As for air quality apart from scrapping the Western congestion zone, he also delayed the Low emission zone starting.
If Boris gets his way and Britain leaves the EU I guess we will not have to try and keep to EU air pollution level controls so avoid any penalties.
He wants his new airport so it “ can support a United Kingdom fully engaged with the world.”, yet wants to withdraw into isolation from our nearest European neighbours.
Attempts should be made to reduce the amount of air travel.
Domestic flights should not be cheaper than train fare. More high speed train lines should be built.
Reduce demand and a lot of the problems go away.
To clean London’s air, car diesel fuel should be made expensive. Goods and public service vehicles exempt from price increase but persuaded to change to alternative fuel as fleets are replaced.
No doubt having resurrected his “Boris Island” as his final outpouring as Mayor of London, he will now concentrate on pulling the Conservative party apart.
Time to consider emigration if Boris becomes PM.
I would have some sympathy with the argument if the alternative was honestly presented, but it isn't. Whether the predictions are accurate or not, by building the new estuary airport, don't you just move the problems from West London to East London ?

Also, how many people in West London are employed directly or indirectly by Heathrow ? I am sure East London would love all those jobs moving.
I still haven't seen any information that tells me WHY we need to have an airport hub anyway? What's going to happen if London slowly ceases to be as important to the world of aircraft? All I keep hearing is that we absolutely MUST expand to remain "relevant". But what does that mean?

All this money spent and I can't articulate any reason why we need to do anything, other than 'because we need to do something'.

And yes, I too thoroughly expect this to be a flagship part of Boris's PM-ship (should he get there) because it's perfect for him. Style over substance in a big way. The fact that thousands of his constituents work at Heathrow be dammed.
I don't really agree with the estuary airport, but with regard to 'just moving all the issues to East London', the main ones that people think about - noise and pollution - would have a benefit under that estuary airport scheme I believe.

The plan would be for Eastbound approach and take off most of the time, and if it was westbound, the nearest settlement is Tilbury, some 15 miles out.

Now I'm about 5 or 6 miles from the end of the Heathrow runways, and I'm rarely affected by aircraft noise. I certainly don't hear the people of Southwark complaining about it.

So actually, from some aspects it is a very sound proposal.
Isn't there a logic fault somewhere? The only reason Boris is in with a chance of the top job is his "flexibility" (other words are available) with regard to Brexit. Similar "flexibility" is likely to be shown in respect of airport matters, if he does get the job.
How long would it take to build an estuary airport?

Once the environmental impacts of air travel are costed in, it will become unaffordable again, and we will need to find a new use for our existing airports.
I suspect that Boris wants the decision this year to go to Gatwick, a cheap quick interim solution to kill off Heathrow. This is pretty much why this report targets Heathrow.

Anyone got any real science behind his new figures for Heathrow, and whether they should be taken seriously?

Once he is in power as leader of the Tory party, he will be able to push Boris Island through to a point where it's unavoidable.

That's if the Tories get in power again, of course! Still, plenty of turkeys seem to like voting for Christmas...

IMO: Just build a maglev between Gatwick and Heathrow and have them operate as a single entity. Sure, it's probably not really an option, but that doesn't seem to stop Boris.
It's worth separating the idea away from the personality behind it.

He's right about Heathrow. The site is too cramped and too urban. The approach is right across the centre of London from Stratford through to Hounslow. Heaven forbid it ever does, but should a plane come down on final approach it will be very very messy indeed.

Hong Kong's old airport was in a similar position, with final approach down over a densely packed urban area. Moving the airport 30 miles out of town, out into the sea on reclaimed land with room for as many runways as your heart desires, was the best thing they did. High speed trains get you into the centre in 30 minutes.

Bin Heathrow, bin City, and build a proper airport out where it won't affect people.
Well, actually if you move the 'London' airport to a new location, all the infrastructure will have to move with it and that includes new housing, commerce and surface transport. Once Heathrow seemed fairly well clear of the city with much less housing nearby but of course living conveniently close to a travel hub seems to attract people. Soon the new location would be as congested as the area around Heathrow.
@Sykobee: The problem is not just moving people. I'll say build a very long taxiway alongside the M25 and let planes transfer between Heathrow and Gatwick. That way we can make Heathrow entry only and Gatwick departure only (or vice versa)
Though I hear a lot about rerouting roads to make Heathrow's third runway (which would be dreadful), I know one thing; the argument about noise there does not hold water. Because they chose to move where they did knowing full well they were near an airport.
ArcticTroll. Does it not occur to you that LHR and LCY might be in convenient locations for the people who use them?
There is a huge advantage to using LCY - it's small and efficient. I don't want to have to traipse out to mid-Kent International.
The island site is a no brainer, It took Hong Kong 7 years to build theirs, and in 1999 (it's first full year) carried 30.3m passengers. They thought that they had future proofed it in size, but last year it carried 68.4m, and they are already constructing terminal extensions, and planning additional runway. It has a great rail link also. The beauty is that cargo is kept to night flights freeing up the day for people.
Bangkok, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and many others have all moved to locations more suitable for jet aviation. Heathrow started with 6 runways, but time to move on before one of those approaching aircraft falls out of the sky on approach into the conurbation below. Then everybody will want a remote location...
As mentioned in a few posts above, moving airports to "islands" where the approach/takeoff is over water, is something that's been done elsewhere, and has obvious benefits for reducing the impact on the people who live nearby.

So to that end, the idea is reasonably sound. Of course, it will take a long time, and will cost a lot of money, but we can either grasp the nettle and look for a strategic long term option, or we can just put sticking plasters over Heathrow, which will be hugely expensive, and still have people asking all the same questions once it's built, and at full capacity within about 10 minutes....
In the time it'll take to add a new runway at Heathrow...the first phase and runway of a new airport to the east of London would probably be operational...with the tranport links too. Then the rest could be added with precise planning to meet the future requirements in time. We cannot be thinking short-term about the 2040s, 2050s and beyond that need to be considered!
Other than the financial cost, why not expand both Gatwick and Heathrow?

Gatwick would provide a quicker solution until Heathrow is completed. It would provide increased capacity and add redundancy in case of an unexpected closure at one airport (e.g. fog). It would also delay the decision of where to build the next runway when this issue rolls back around in 20-30 years.
Island Dweller, between 25% and 35% (depending on who you ask) of all passengers through Heathrow are transiting. They don't really care where the airport is.
If 25%-35% of all passengers are "transiting", then maybe a new airport could be built in the "Northern PowerHouse" we all keep hearing about...with that lovely new HS2 connection to the overly expensive/crowded south
I don't wish to be unduly negative to all these good ideas above, but.....

Heathrow and Gatwick are now owned by different, competing companies, so reducing the scope for them to co-operate as a single hub. They are highly unlikely to work together in such a venture.

And to the proponents of a (sensible) estuary airport plan, please don't underestimate the complexity of building in high speed transport links. Look how lo g it takes to build any new greenfield rail line in this country !
Do we want to encourage the transit passengers to transit through here? They fly over our heads, spend no money in the UK except in the airport itself (where everything is duty free so we don't even get any VAT revenue from them), and then fly out over our heads again.
Some routes wouldn't be viable solely with traffic generated from the UK so yes transit passengers are good?
People may not want to hear it, but the current amount of air travel is not compatible with limiting carbon emissions to a level that minimises the chance of dangerous climate change in the next 50 to 100 years.

Although targets were set in Paris last year, most of the models on which they are based depend on reducing carbon emissions in the past, or on carbon capture and storage technology that does not presently exist and may never work. We are not on course for a happy outcome.

To put things in context, a return flight to New York emits over a ton of CO2 per passenger. In the UK, our emissions are over 10 tons per person each year, but we need to get down to a couple of tons per person per year.
Ah yes, Andrew, climate change - the elephant in the room. If we ignore it, perhaps it will go away.
If I sound cynical it's because I've just read James Hansen's Storms of my Grandchildren.
@John and @Andrew

London-Edinburgh costs roughly £180 return by train. By plane, it can cost £20 return (plus twice that to get to Stansted by train, which neatly illustrates the ridiculousness of the entire system).
We are not incentivising rail travel over air travel very well as it is...
Not mentioned is Boris is MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, coincidentally the borough in which most of Heathrow Airport lies. Of course he's keen to move the airport to the other side of London. You would need brand new rail and road links, through both north-east and south-east London (you can't simply extend existing ones as there isn't the capacity), along with hotels and other infrastructure. Crossrail will have cost around £15bn, and only the central section was new. The cost of tunnelling 20 miles east, both north and south of the river alone will be unaffordable. Added to this, spoil from the Crossrail project is being deposited at Wallasea Island to transform farmland into a 670-hectare wetland to increase bird populations, just what you need next to an airport.

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