| Press Release - 7 October 2012
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has invented a new word - 'bonkeramus' - in response to Boris Johnson's suggestion of Stansted being developed as the UK's new hub airport with four runways and operating on 24/7 basis.
SSE Economics Adviser Brian Ross commented: "Boris is fond of inventing new words and we're sure that, with his expertise in Latin, he'll understand that bonkeramus means 'a bonkers idea put forward by an ignoramus'. The Mayor of London has neither the knowledge nor the authority to pronounce on airports policy for the East of England. He should stick to running buses and bicycles in London."
Boris Johnson's suggestion of major expansion at Stansted was made in a speech to London businessmen last week where he said that London needed more airport capacity but he re-affirmed his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow and hinted that his earlier 'Boris island' idea could be unaffordable.
The Mayor of London's intervention comes less than a month after the Government announced that it would be setting up an independent Commission under Sir Howard Davies to identify and recommend options for maintaining the UK's status as an international hub for aviation. The Davies Commission will produce an interim report by the end of next year and a final report by the summer of 2015, after the next General Election.
SSE has condemned Boris Johnson's intervention, describing it as trying to pre-empt the work of the Davies Commission. Mr Ross concluded: "Boris should remember that he is the Mayor of London and has no mandate for the East of England. We will not stand idly by if he tries to appease his West London voters at our expense with an 'anywhere but Heathrow' policy."
NOTE TO EDITORS
Stansted is expected to handle some 17 million passengers this year, compared to its 2007 peak of 24 million. It has permission to handle 35 million passengers a year.
Two airlines, Easyjet and Ryanair, account for over 90% of Stansted's passengers. The airport no longer has any long haul passenger flights.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT
Brian Ross, SSE, 01279 814961 or (M) 07850 937143 or firstname.lastname@example.org
See also SSE's web page on the competition issue