An airport in the Thames Estuary would create 70,000 jobs, Boris Johnson's aviation adviser has argued at a heated summit this morning.
Daniel Moylan fielded questions from about 50 business and civic leaders as well as members of the public at Priestfield Conference Centre, Gillingham.
Rumours and reports of an airport off the north Kent coast have been around for nearly a decade, but this was the first time the opposing sides came face-to-face.
Arguing why the airport would be good for Kent, Mr Moylan said: "Heathrow employs roughly 70,000 people. An airport of this size in the Thames Estuary would employ that many, maybe a little more.
"Some people would have to move here, but there would be many jobs for local people."
Medway Council is fiercely opposed to the plan, dismissing it as a "pie in the sky" idea that should be dropped.
Leader Cllr Rodney Chambers and Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless also attending the meeting.