18 FEBRUARY 2013


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Article from BTNews 18 FEBRUARY 2013

Boris spends money

In another high profile move London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced an (expensive) team of consultants to draw up plans for three possible sites he has identified for a new hub airport.  This move, funded by Transport for London (TfL), seems to replicate the official Government enquiry, the Davies Commission, although it will make a presentation to the official jury.  A similar situation arose at Luton Airport last year where both the freeholder, the local Council, and the airport operator duplicated costly enquiries, with more or less the same result.  The airport is actually outside the Mayor’s remit.

The Mayor’s team of consultants includes architects Zaha Hadid and Pascall & Watson, who designed Heathrow’s Terminal 5; engineers WS Atkins; business advisers Ernst & Young; and economic research group Oxford Economics.  He has also engaged what he calls “A Peer Review Group”, mainly academics with very little commercial knowledge of the airline world.

He added that any new hub airport would “take at least a couple of decades” to complete, with an overall cost of £70-£80bn including new rail and road links.
“A large proportion would come from the private sector”, Johnson told MPs.  This seemed to conflict with the views of his TfL airport guru (see Assembly talks airports).

“Around £25bn would come from the public finances for the road and rail infrastructure,” the Mayor noted.  www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/default.aspx

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