Island Airport Pt 3

Articles, LondonUnlockedEditor

200809250939.jpgThe debate over the Mayor's plans for a new London airport continues.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Andrew Gilligan waxes lyrical about the possibilities which the scheme throws up, ending on a sour note:

Yet the real obstacle may not be this, or money (a third runway at Heathrow would also cost billions.) It's the fact that this idea demands adjustments in previous thinking. It is against all the traditions of British government. It's also the fact that Boris doesn't own Heathrow, or the Isle of Sheppey, and has no control whatever over either place. I hope I'm wrong, but I fear Boris Island may never fly.

Meanwhile, in her final big speech as Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly has laid into the idea, calling it 'opportunistic' and 'environmentally irresponsible'. Team Boris, the BBC tells us, is still soldiering on with the plan.

Just to add to the despondency at City Hall, BA Chief Executive, Willie Walsh, has called the plan 'madness', according to Bloomberg. One has to wonder if there are reasons behind this attack beyond those he has made clear - the discussions which the Mayor's team has had with his counterparts at Virgin spring to mind.

Either way, the odds are stacked against the Mayor in gaining approval for this project before a General Election offers the opportunity of a fresh administration with new priorities.