Stansted has emerged as one of three possible options for a new London hub airport being supported by the capital’s mayor Boris Johnson.
He has already ruled out development of Heathrow, which he suggested should become a business airport.
Johnson highlighted three options, including building a four-runway airport beside the Thames estuary, creating the so-called ‘Boris Island’ in the middle of the Thames or development at an enlarged Stansted.
“Stansted is really replete with potential.” he told MPs sitting on the Transport Select Committee.
“If you look at the journey times, the costs and the potential productivity in the Lea Valley, you can see huge potential for Stansted. It’s got a lot going for it.”
But he also outlined the advantages of the Thames option, saying: “My engineers think the journey time to the inner estuary from London would be quicker than to Stansted.”
It is time to make “the case for boldness” and develop “a better long term sustainable alternative to Heathrow,” he added.
Stansted is being sold to the owners of Manchester airport for £1.5 billion after the Competition Commission ordered the former BAA, now Heathrow Holdings, to offload the Essex airport.
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