London Mayor Boris Johnson says he continues to support the creation of the Isle of Grain airport in north Kent despite the idea not being favoured by the Davies Commission.

The government appointed body looking at airport capacity needs in the south east unveiled its interim report today ahead of completing its investigtaions after the 2015 General Election.

It favours Gatwick and Heathrow for new runways saying there were still too many uncertainties about the option for a new hub in the Thames estuary. 

Johnson said: “Howard Davies’ recognition of the importance of a hub airport to the economy and his decision to include the option of a new hub in the inner estuary on the Isle of Grain is both sensible and pragmatic, and is welcome news for Londoners and for the future competitive needs of the UK population as a whole.”

He added: “It is clear that Gatwick is not being considered as a hub airport, meaning a second runway there would only provide temporary relief to Heathrow.

“And that means he has effectively told the government it has two choices – proceed with the creation of a monstrous Heathrow, on a constrained site that won’t solve our capacity crisis, but would inflict untold misery on hundreds of thousands more Londoners through the din of many more jet engines in parts of the capital and home counties that have not so far experienced it; or proceed with the construction of a new hub in the inner estuary that can be built for the same cost as a four runway Heathrow, and would bring new jobs, homes, and long term competitiveness.

“A new airport in the inner estuary is the only credible hub option left, and the only one that would uphold this country’s claim to be the natural financial, commercial and economic capital of Europe.

“By keeping it on the table Davies is saying you have a choice – between a damaging u turn or a radical new vision for expansion. We will be fighting the former and hailing the latter, and I’d urge the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to do the same.”