A new estuary airport would improve GDP and provide thousands more jobs than any other option says a new report.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, highlighted the economic benefits of the new airport over expanding the two major existing airports. The Mayor was speaking after releasing ‘Gateway to our Future: Why the UK needs a new hub airport’, which was compiled by Oxford Economics.
He says construction of the Isle of Grain gateway, estimated to cost anywhere between £20-100 million, would provide thousands more jobs than the other options at Heathrow and Gatwick that were shortlisted.
The report shows the financial benefits of the four-runway hub over the other options
- £92.1 billion of GDP each year from the new airport
- £59.1 billion for a three-runway Heathrow
- £22.6 billion for a two-runway Gatwick
The report claims that having a new airport in the Thames Estuary would support 336,000 jobs around the country in 2050, around a third more than an expanded Heathrow and more than five times as many jobs as an expanded Gatwick airport would provide.
The new figures were released the same day a survey by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce found the proposal to build a new gateway in the Estuary is strongly supported by members of the Kent business community.
Benefits of Closing Heathrow
The report says that the decommissioning of Heathrow would “help meet the growing need for new homes as London’s population expands over the coming decades”.
It says the site has “hugely significant potential for residential and commercial use. The ‘re-developable’ area of the site alone could support 90,000 jobs and 80,000 homes for around 190,000 new residents”.
Johnson has previously backed plans for a garden city on the Heathrow site.
Johnson said: “There is no better example of the stark choice between planning for the future and depressing short-termism. A new hub airport, properly planned, has the potential to reshape the economic geography of London and the whole of the southeast for decades to come.
“It would be a project of a scale we are no longer accustomed to in this country, though it has become commonplace elsewhere. We simply cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities a new airport would give us.”
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick said: “We share the Mayor’s passion for wanting to keep London the best connected city in the world and limit the environmental damage to the Capital. Expansion at Gatwick is the obvious choice to make this happen, with a deliverable runway solution that would create the economic benefits the country needs at an environmental cost it can afford.”
Gateway to our Future: Why the UK needs a new hub airport can be read here.