Ryanair Holdings Plc Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told U.K. lawmakers that London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans for a new airport serving southeast England are “insane, stupid, hare-brained” and called for the expansion of current sites. Johnson said that would be “a disastrous policy.”
A U.K. government move to hold an inquiry into airport capacity in the southeast is also putting off decisions that urgently need to be taken, O’Leary told Parliament’s Transport Committee, adding that London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports all need at least one new runway.
“It’s just another issue of the U.K. kicking the aviation can further down the road,” O’Leary said.
Construction of a new hub in the Thames estuary, dubbed “Boris Island” by the U.K. media, would add capacity away from heavily inhabited areas, minimizing the impact of aircraft noise, according to Johnson. The mayor said today on Bloomberg Television that Heathrow would need at least two more runways to compete with Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt.
“To expand it is simply environmentally catastrophic for much of west London, but also inadequate,” Johnson said in an interview. “Stop thinking about locating our No. 1 hub airport in the west London suburbs and go for an alternative location.”