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Ryanair boss brands Thames airport plan insanely stupid

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary launched a stinging attack on the idea of a Thames Estuary airport this week, labelling it 'insanely stupid'.

Mr O’Leary, who is chief executive of the airline, hit out at the proposal while giving evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on Monday.

When asked about the scheme he initially said his views would involve language unsuitable in Parliament.

But he then went on to say: "Such a scheme is insane, stupid and hare-brained.

"To try and come up with a new green-field site plan with no infrastructure and no motorway or rail links and which would take the rest of my life to build is insanely and asininely stupid."

The idea has been championed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, and suggested sites include Cliffe, Grain and two floating islands in the estuary itself.

The committee is holding its own inquiry into the country’s aviation capacity, and is due to produce recommendations next year.

The government has also established an independent commission to tackle the issue.

Led by economist Sir Howard Davies, it is due to issue interim findings by the end of next year and a final report in 2015.

Mr O’Leary criticised this time frame, claiming it is "just another example of kicking the aviation strategy can further down the road".

The government could make a decision "by 7pm tonight and we could do away with two years of deliberation", he claimed.

Simon Buck, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, told MPs on the committee that aviation had suffered from decades of dithering.

He said: "We have had 30 to 40 years of decisions being put off or not made. The commission findings must be accepted by all political parties."

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