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PLA Statement on Thames Estuary Airport

A large container ship in the Port of LondonThe Port of London Authority has an important interest in the debate on the possibility of an airport being developed in, or on the banks of, the Thames Estuary. 

The Thames is home to the UK’s second largest port, supplying many millions of people with 50 million tonnes of food, fuel and other of life’s’ essentials every year.  The protection of the shipping lanes that service the port is paramount, given its national strategic importance.  These shipping lanes also serve the Port of Medway; the Thames, in combination with Medway, makes up the largest port area in the UK.

We will assess any proposal for development of an airport (and any linked barrage or other infrastructure) in the Thames Estuary with particular focus on its effect on shipping and the delicate marine environment.   We would aim to ensure we maintain or improve the efficiency of London as a port, currently employing over 46,000 and generating over £3bn in value.