The British boss of one of the world’s fastest growing airports says Boris Johnson’s proposal for an £80 billion, four-runway hub in the Thames Estuary is “unfundable” and a potential white elephant.
He contrasted Heathrow — which is near full capacity at 68 million passengers annually — with Dubai, which by 2014 will have doubled capacity to 90 million passengers and is set to become the world’s largest hub by 2018 thanks to pro-aviation government policy.
He told the Standard: “It shows how far behind the UK is likely to continue to trail in the industry.
“Heathrow needs to be expanded now because of the immediate pressure on growth. Maybe Boris island is the solution for the future but I don’t think it is possible to build it in time. You’ve got all the expense of investing in that project without the productivity arising from it and at the same time you are forcing airports in the London system to become ex growth.”
Mr Griffiths, who moved from Gatwick airport to the Middle East, will be a speaker at the Airport Operators’ Association conference in London on October 22-23. More info