Reports are claiming that a mystery consortium is assessing the feasibility of creating a new four-runway airport near to Heathrow.
The consortium, comprising a group of unnamed businesses, us believed to have commissioned an infrastructure firm to assess possible locations on the outskirts of north and west London, according to reports in the Daily Mail and the Independent on Sunday. Financing has also reportedly been on the consortiums agenda, with claims that it is negotiating with Chinese sovereign wealth funds with regards to funding for the £40bn to £50bn project.
The Independent on Sunday quoted an industry source as saying: ‘These are very serious people. They want all their ideas aligned before coming forward publicly – this is going to be pretty impressive stuff.’
Berkshire and Oxfordshire would be considered likely locations for the new airport, and an engineering firm that is said to have experience of such projects in the Americas is undertaking the evaluation of suitable tracts of land. Wherever a new location is proposed, the consortium can be certain of an aggressive protest campaign from local communities and environmentalists.
The possibility of a new London airport has been mooted for some time, along with the alternative possibility of a third runway for Heathrow, fuelled by assertions from the UK’s business leaders that failure to upgrade the country’s present airport capacity will ultimately harm its competitiveness. However, the British government opposes the third runway option and continues to stand its ground on the issue, despite Tim Yeo, chairman of the UK Government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee, urging a change of heart on the Heathrow policy only last week.
Reports claim that the parties involved in the new airport consortium will reveal themselves within weeks.