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Home   Medway   News   Article

Thames Estuary airport set to be binned by Airports Commission, according to reports

11 December 2013
by Alan McGuinness

A huge airport in Medway is set to be binned by the commission tasked with deciding what to do about the country's airport capacity, according to reports.

The Airports Commission, which was set up by the government last year, is due to issue an interim report with a shortlist of the best options on Tuesday.

Sources close to the inquiry have told the Guardian the three options the commission will include are: a third runway at Heathrow, four runways at Heathrow and extra runway at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Lord Foster's vision for the airport transport system. Picture Foster and Partners

Lord Foster's vision for the airport transport system. Picture: Foster and Partners

The locations for an estuary airport that have been submitted the commission are Grain, Cliffe and a floating island in the estuary itself.

The speculation comes after a joint report by three London councils close to Heathrow claimed closing the west London airport would lead to the loss of up to 250,000 jobs.

The report by Hounslow, Slough and Ealing councils says the closure would be an economic disaster.

An artist’s impression of a plan for a floating four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary called London Britannia

An artist’s impression of a plan for a floating four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary called London Britannia

The news was welcomed by Medway councillors. Council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers (Con) said the findings “add weight to our argument against an estuary airport”.

"The Hounslow report confirms the argument that we have been putting forward that there will be thousands of jobs lost,” he said.

Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple said: "I've been arguing for some time that one of the elements which is bad for the estuary airport is the impact on UK PLC.

"This report shows very clearly that both the directly employed and also the wider employment market in west London and beyond will be devastated by any estuary airport so I hope that the Davies Commission take this into account very carefully when coming to their interim conclusions next week."

A plane flying over a house in Feltham on its way to land at Heathrow. Picture Trinity Mirror Southern Ltd

A plane flying over a house in Feltham on its way to land at Heathrow. Picture: Trinity Mirror Southern Ltd

Cllr Geoff Juby, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: "I'm very surprised that this report hasn't been done before because everybody has gone on about a new airport but if you close Heathrow it's going to be an economic disaster for that part of London, as well as for UK PLC because all the transport links are done through Heathrow."

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