Boris Johnson says Britain faces “economic paralysis” unless ministers back his plans for a new airport in the Southeast.
Claiming that London’s existing airports will be full by 2030, the Mayor has advocated building a new airport in the Thames Estuary, an area outside his control.
The scheme is opposed by the local council, environmental campaigners and key aviation industry players.
On Monday the Mayor called on Ministers to “grasp the nettle and begin serious plans for the multi runway solution that can keep London and our great nation in the premier league of the global economy.”
Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors welcomed the Mayor’s comments and said “more airport capacity is needed now more than ever.”
However Lib Dem Mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick dismissed the Mayor’s proposals as a “childhood fantasy” based on the TV puppet series Thunderbirds.
Paddick said: “The transport priority for Londoners is keeping fares low and having public transport they can rely on, not the Mayor fulfilling some childhood fantasy, recreating Tracey Island in the Thames Estuary.”
Friends of the Earth London Campaigner, Jenny Bates said: “Boris Johnson is scaremongering – London already has more flights to the world’s main business destinations than our European neighbours.
“A new airport in the south east would have a devastating impact on local communities and our environment – we need transport policies that boost our economy without trashing our planet.”