Boris Johnson considers taking legal action against the Government over London airport expansion study, as Gatwick bosses unveil plans for new runway

 

Boris Johnson personally raised the prospect of taking legal action against the Government with David Cameron to speed up a review of London airport expansion.

The Evening Standard reported that the Mayor of London told the Prime Minister that he could go to the High Court to bring forward a government-commissioned study into Britain’s airports which is only due to report fully after the 2015 election.

And in a sign that the battle over London airport expansion is still dramatically escalating, Gatwick bosses today unveiled plans for a second runway which is sure to create a full-blown clash with Heathrow over which airport should expand to meet the South-East’s aviation needs.

The two developments hugely upped the stakes in the debate over airport expansion in Britain.

During a phone call on Friday, Mr Cameron is believed to have reacted with concern to the idea of Mr Johnson seeking a judicial review which would plunge the Government’s aviation strategy into chaos.

Mr Johnson has been infuriated by the decision to delay the full Davies report until after the election, with only an interim paper being published next year.

Mr Johnson could launch a judicial review, arguing he was not properly consulted on the setting up of the inquiry. Such a move, though, is likely to only delay the review and would send tensions with Mr Cameron spiralling to a new high.

Gatwick bosses plans for a new runway at the airport are said to honour a 1979 legal agreement that no runway can be built at the West Sussex airport before 2019.

The options will be submitted to the Government-appointed aviation commission led by former Financial Services Authority (FSA) chief Sir Howard Davies boss which will make its full report in summer 2015.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said a new runway at Gatwick “could be affordable and practical” and was a better option than new runways at Heathrow or Stansted airports.

The work on a new runway at Gatwick, which serves 197 destinations and handles around 34 million passengers a year, will evaluate various runway options and assess key requirements, including environmental, surface access and economic impacts.

Relevant environmental issues will include noise and air quality impacts on local communities.

Gatwick chiefs believe that the additional capacity, flexibility and resilience that could be provided by a new runway at Gatwick will help to ensure that London's airports provide south-east England and the UK with the connectivity needed.

The bosses said that at least for the rest of this decade, London's airports will be relying on their existing physical capacity.

Gatwick's work, and subsequent submission to the Davies Commission, will include a detailed evaluation of how Gatwick's existing single runway capacity can be maximised to contribute to the short-term capacity needs for London and the UK.

Mr Wingate said: “Over the last three years we have transformed the airport, invested around £650 million and have a strong track record for delivering key routes to growth markets.

”However, we must now look to the future when Gatwick will become full and outline its long-term role in ensuring London has an efficient and resilient airport system that creates the crucial connectivity London and the UK needs.“

He went on: ”I believe a new runway at Gatwick could be affordable, practical and give passengers a greater choice of routes to key markets. A new runway will allow Gatwick to compete and grow, increasing the choice available to passengers today. We have the space, capability and access to financial resources.

“There are clear practical advantages of a new runway at Gatwick. When compared with a third runway at Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact whilst adding significantly more capacity.

”Stansted is half empty today, we already have much better surface transport links and feel our business case will be much stronger.“

Mr Wingate continued: ”As for the (Thames) Estuary airport concepts (favoured by London Mayor Boris Johnson) there are major questions on affordability, environmental issues and whether they are deliverable.

“The process of evaluating the runway options will be complex. I am committed to undertaking a comprehensive and in-depth assessment that considers not only the economic benefits but also the environmental impacts. We will be consulting with our key stakeholders throughout the process.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Upper KS2 Teacher

£120 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Upper Key Stage 2 teacher ...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + ?110 - 130: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher ...

KS2 Teacher with SEN responsibilities

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: KS2 teacher with SEN responsibi...

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments