Letter: 25 November 2011

A decision is needed on Boris Island, and soon

SIR – Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is correct to assert that Britain is in desperate need of increased airport capacity (report, November 22) to ensure that we keep a firm footing on the international market and do not lose business from emerging economies such as Brazil and China.

There is fierce opposition in Medway to his “Boris Island” proposal, and to Lord Foster’s proposed airport on the Isle of Grain, for a number of reasons – most importantly, the impact it would have on the quality of life for the 250,000 Medway residents not displaced by developments.

Of course, the arguments being presented by Medway council and its residents are similar to those who oppose expansion at either Gatwick or Heathrow. But the greatest risk to our aviation standing is not the “nimbies” in each affected area, but lack of political will in the decision-makers. Mr Johnson does not wish to offer a proposal which will have a direct negative effect on his constituents, while members of the Government do not wish to lose support in their heartlands.

What is needed is an immediate consultation on the proposals, followed by a decision. Action needs to be taken before permanent damage is done to our trade links, a damning prospect for our economy.

Alan W. Collins