London Britannia Airport

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London Britannia Airport is a proposed six-runway airport to be built on an artificial island in the River Thames estuary to serve London,[1] comparable to a similar approach taken with Hong Kong International Airport.[2] The proposal had been dubbed "Boris island" by the media, reflecting the support for the project from former London Mayor Boris Johnson.[3][4][5] The scheme was proposed by Testrad (Thames Estuary Research and Development), initially an agency formed by Johnson but now also involving other partners, and was rejected by the airport commission in January 2014.


Plans for a Thames Estuary Airport go back many years. The idea was revived in 2008 by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to be located towards the Shivering Sands area, north-east of Whitstable. The deputy mayor, Kit Malthouse, had supported a Thames estuary airport since before taking office.[6]

In November 2008, the mayor appointed Doug Oakervee (executive chair of Crossrail) to lead the Greater London Authority's preliminary feasibility study,[7] which determined in October 2009 that there is "no logical constraint" to the plan.[8]

The London Britannia Airport name was adopted for the latest iteration of the idea presented in November 2013.[9] This proposal would cost £47.3 billion and would mean the closure of Heathrow Airport.[10] Proponents argue the scheme's big advantage is that it would avoid flying over densely populated areas and the noise pollution and other problems that causes. Some local councils and the RSPB oppose the plan,[11] as do current London airports.[12] Critics suggest the scheme is impractical and too expensive.

In early 2014 it was revealed that the UK Airports Commission, in its interim report, did not recommend the London Britannia proposal for further analysis.[13]


  1. ^ "New plans for six-runway Thames Estuary airport to be unveiled". Echo. Basildon. 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Davies, Paul J.; Pickford, James (17 October 2013). "Boris Johnson floats Thames island airport plan on HK stopover". Financial Times. London. 
  3. ^ Gourlay, Chris; Gadher, Dipesh (21 September 2008). "'Boris Island' airport may replace Heathrow". The Sunday Times. London.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Crerar, Pippa (1 March 2010). "'Boris island' airport would cause European flight chaos, say airlines". London Evening Standard. 
  5. ^ "Heathrow and Gatwick airports: Ministers mull rail link". BBC News. 8 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Malthouse, Kit (23 November 2007). "Problem: Heathrow's in the wrong place". The Times. London. Retrieved 17 January 2009.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ "International engineer to advise Mayor on Thames Airport feasibility" (Press release). Mayor of London. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Study backs Thames island airport". BBC News. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2009. 
  9. ^ "'Boris Island' London Airport designs unveiled". BBC News. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Airport commission in Medway over Thames estuary plans". BBC News. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Beard, Matthew; Crearer, Pippa (17 October 2013). "Boris island airport scheme is 'sinking', says Gatwick boss". London Evening Standard. 
  13. ^ "Letter for the Airports Commission" (PDF). The Thames Estuary Research and Development. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 

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Coordinates: 51°26′19″N 1°10′07″E / 51.4386°N 1.1687°E / 51.4386; 1.1687