Boris Johnson's Deputy is planning to close Heathrow airport and move it to an island in the Thames Estuary.
The project to shift voter-bothering flights out of London, has already been nicknamed 'Boris Island' by the Times, and will be led by one-time failed airline hopeful Kit Malthouse.
Malthouse, whose dream of a budget domestic airline crashed before take-off, believes his new dream will be a winner:
“I think it’s madness to expand any of the other airports when there is an obvious solution elsewhere.
“We’re not proposing to switch the lights on at the new airport and switch the lights off at Heathrow, firing everyone overnight. This would be a phasing from one airport to the other. Over the space of three or four years, those [workers] that wanted to, could migrate.”
The new island would be built from landfill alongside the Isle of Sheppey in Kent and passengers would be connected to the mainland by train and ferry. According to the Times:
"Aircraft would descend over the North Sea instead of disturbing residential areas in the approach to Heathrow.
“You would have no problems with expansion or noise,” said Malthouse. “You could run a 24-hour airport.”
Now quite whether the people of Sheppey and Kent would see 'no problems' with the expansion and noise remains to be seen, but the project would certainly have to overcome many other difficulties.
Not least of these is the technical difficulties in moving Britain's largest airport onto an island in the Thames.
Island airports have been built successfully in the past, most notably in Hong Kong. However, the process is not straightforward.
Kansai International Airport for instance, became one of the most expensive civil projects in history after the island it was built upon sank over eleven metres into Osaka Bay.
Maltouse's vision of outsourcing Heathrow was first revealed in The Times a year ago, but has so far got little further than:
Now whether this latest dream will be any more successful depends largely on the bargaining power of his boss Boris Johnson.
But with all other unfunded transport projects officially put on ice, it will take more than a Malthouse vision to make 'Boris island' rise from the waves.
-UPDATE- Boris Island: the morning after