We are opposed to the construction of an airport in the Thames Estuary, including the latest proposals put forward as part of the government-commissioned review.
We are vehemently opposed to the construction of an airport in the Thames Estuary and this includes any and all of the latest proposals which have come forward as part of the government-commissioned review into the UK's aviation capacity.
This world-class coastal wetland has been threatened by a series of ill thought-out airport proposals over the past several decades. By campaigning alongside local communities and many others we have ensured none of them have come close to getting off the ground.
Since Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, catapulted the concept of an airport in the Thames Estuary back to prominence, all sorts of ideas have been put forward. These include one by Lord Foster on the Hoo Peninsula, the resurrection of a formerly proposed airport at Cliffe, a floating airport and a new island in the estuary just off the Whitstable coast.
The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, has been set up to examine current aviation capacity and consider the need for expansion. The commission will produce final recommendations in a report to be published in 2015, after the next election.
In December 2013, the commission published an interim report highlighting locations they believe are suitable for a new hub airport. Although a Thames Estuary location was not formally included on the shortlist, the commission did not discard it, instead keeping it as an option for further scrutiny, despite the damage to wildlife and the risk of bird strike.
The construction of a Thames Estuary airport would result in an unprecedented level of damage and destruction to a highly protected and internationally recognised coastal wetland. In addition, we have serious concerns about the wider impacts of aviation expansion on people and wildlife as a result of the increased carbon emissions and their contribution to climate change.
We will continue to actively campaign to ensure that any such plans are rejected and aviation expansion only goes ahead when the threats to our environment and climate are fully and properly taken into account.