Thursday, April 18, 2024

Council question “Strange decision” regarding airports

THE government’s investigation into the future of airports in southern England has come up with a “strange” decision, says Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr John Kent.

He says: “There are three shortlisted options, all at either Gatwick or Heathrow, but then it says it isn’t ruling out a new hub airport at the Isle of Grain – a strange decision which first says an estuary airport isn’t a good idea and then says ‘maybe’.

“The fact it hasn’t been ruled out increases my concerns and gives the Mayor of London a chance to continue talking about his favourite project that’s not within his remit.

“There is a link back to the crossing debate too.”

He said: “Sir Howard Davies’s Airport Commission report concluded ‘there is a need for one additional runway to be in operation in the south east of the UK by 2030’ and possibly another 20 years later.

“However it says it wants to investigate further future airport proposals in and around the Thames Estuary.”

The report states: “The Thames Estuary airport options were not at this stage shortlisted. While the potential they offered to reduce aviation noise impacts in the South East of England and to support economic development on the eastern side of London was attractive, they presented many challenges and uncertainties.”

But it says: “The cost of an Isle of Grain airport (the most viable of those presented) around five times that of the three short-listed options at up to £112 billion.”

Cllr Kent said: “The report also says there are major environmental and infrastructure questions around an estuary airport.

“Perhaps the government should also ensure this estuary plan is definitely thrown out before making future decisions about the next Lower Thames Crossing. “The Commission says it won’t report again until late 2014, will the government now announce their Option A/Option C conundrum will have to wait that long too?”


  1. Of course everyone knows that the Isle of Grain is inThurrock and thus completely within your remit, John.


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