11 MAY 2015

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Article from BTNews 11 MAY 2015

COMMENT: The London airports problem What happens next?

With all the excitement of the 2015 UK General Election results on Friday the Airports Commission quietly announced a delay with its recommendation for a third London runway  (See Airports Commission delay  in this issue).  In 2010, in spite of the urgency, the Coalition put a brake on airport development and the country lost five years.

The problem now is Boris Johnson, sometimes a maverick, and elected to represent Uxbridge and South Ruislip, a constituency including the area directly north of Heathrow, with Northolt aerodrome bang in the centre. He has a duty to focus on his role as Mayor of London for the next 12 months

Will Boris, whose scheme for an airport in the estuary was completely thrown out, use his influence to try and stop any runway development at Heathrow, and indeed the reintroduction of limited scheduled services at the RAF base?  

Mr Johnson’s cavalier treatment of London City Airport does indicate his thoughts (see BTN 30 March).  While the airport sought an expansion through democratic means, and obtained them, Boris, it seems personally, stopped the process.  This is probably only temporary but an aggravation the airport does not need, in direct confrontation to the City and the local council.  It is not helpful to the development of the whole Royal Docks area. 

Prime Minister Cameron is due to announce his junior ministerial appointments.  Will these include Johnson?  Probably not given his present day job.  But if so where?  Some would say well away from transport.  The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has a vacancy.  It might just be the right place for a very bright individualist known for original thoughts!

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