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Kamall: We need a new airport - another Heathrow strip is a sticking plaster

“London could have had a new airport for the future, rather than this expensive stopgap solution”.

That’s the message from Furbisher Media client Syed Kamall, MEP for London, following today’s announcement on the expansion of Heathrow.

“Last year, I gathered together people from Fosters & Partners with sovereign wealth funds representing over a trillion dollars between them as part of my campaign to become London Mayor and they told me that if the government gave the go ahead, London would get a new airport, probably somewhere on the Thames estuary,” says Dr Kamall.

“They told me that the UK was a reliable investment, a global hub of trade and commerce, and from their point of view, a safe bet.

“Heathrow expansion is merely sticking plaster and won’t solve the long term demand for airport capacity. If Britain is to thrive, we need to be sending out a bold message to the world that we are a forward thinking nation, looking to the future, not a place where we just stick a plaster over the cracks.

“Heathrow is going to reach capacity again within a few years. The DFT’s own figures show 50% more people will travel through UK airports by 2030, so if we expand Heathrow, where do we build after that? Do we bulldoze Windsor or Southall or go south?

"Who will pay for the adjustments to the M25 and local infrastructure? And, then there are the obvious safety concerns of large airliners flying over London too. It doesn`t take a scientist to work out that noise and pollution will inevitably increase over large parts of London, despite improvements in both.

“If there was no alternative then I could understand but there IS an alternative. Why waste money now on a stopgap when we could be building for the future”.

"Our economy needs a new airport for the future. We must lead the world. We have a solution but this announcement is ignoring it.”

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