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Regular news: Issue 602 15 Aug 2012

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Aviation / Airports, All of UK

Greening 'backs estuary airport,' Lib Dems say a hub airport 'better'

Lee Baker

The London Mayor claimed that the transport secretary Justin Greening "gets" the need for a new airport and the Lib Dem backbenchers said a hub airport would be "better" for the environment than expansion at Heathrow.

Boris Johnson, in an interview with the Standard, called the Government’s decision to delay the publication of a consultation into Britain’s airports “totally mad”. The Mayor favours a four-runway hub built in the Thames, dubbed “Boris Island”. Saying Mr Cameron’s government must be more “ambitious” he launched a passionate defence of Transport Secretary Justine Greening, who he said “gets” the need for a new airport.

Meanwhile, a proposal to go before party members at the Lib Dem autumn conference next month, call instead for an independent study to find a location for a new hub airport or an existing one that is suitable for expansion.

Julian Huppert, co-chair of the party's transport committee, also speaking to the Standard, said: "Liberal Democrats have always opposed a new runway at Heathrow because it is in an appallingly bad location. You can't have one of the world's noisiest and busiest airports in the heart of West London's suburbs.

"We recognise, however, that a single, hub airport - rather than a constrained Heathrow with multiple satellite airports - would be better for the environment and better for the economy in the long term. Even three runways at Heathrow would only be a medium term solution."

Huppert told LTT that Norman Baker and him had ruled out 'Boris Island' and the motion was referring to a hub in a new location. Labour, meanwhile, said it was against a hub in the Thames estuary location.

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