Airports roundup

A report published by London's Mayor claims that a new four-runway airport to the east of London would allow for eight additional domestic routes, connecting cities such as Cardiff, Dundee, Liverpool and Newquay to a UK hub. Connections to the UK’s largest international airport would improve those cities’ trade, tourism and foreign direct investment prospects, the report by York Aviation and Oxford Economics argues.

An airport in the Thames Estuary would present a "considerable cost and risk to the taxpayer", according to reports published by the Airports Commission. London Mayor Boris Johnson has proposed an estuary airport on the Isle of Grain. Four studies into the feasibility of the airport have been published. They state airlines and passengers believe the scheme would carry "significantly more risk than opportunity". One of the reports also stated that explosives on a sunken World War Two munitions ship in the estuary, the SS Richard Montgomery, would need to be removed or treated before the airport could be constructed. More here.

Scotland could host the UK's first dedicated base for spaceplanes, according to new government plans. Ministers want to establish the UK spaceport by 2018 - the first of its kind outside of the US. Eight aerodromes have been shortlisted and Scotland has six of the potential locations. For ministers and the space industry, the major interest in a UK spaceport is as a facility to enable satellite launches, but hopefully it would also become a centre for the new tourism initiatives from specialist operators such as Virgin Galactic and XCor.