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Air travel group formed

PUBLISHED: 11:05 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 August 2010

COUNCIL bosses, business leaders and the Mayor of London have agreed to work together to shape the future of aviation in the South East. The Inter-Regional Forum (IRF), a group made up of the three regional planning bodies in the South East – The South E

COUNCIL bosses, business leaders and the Mayor of London have agreed to work together to shape the future of aviation in the South East.

The Inter-Regional Forum (IRF), a group made up of the three regional planning bodies in the South East - The South East of England Regional Assembly (SEERA), The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) and the Mayor of London, issued a joint statement on the issue last Friday.

The statement read: "We are united in recognising the importance of airports to the success of London and the greater south east of England economy.

"The history of the issue shows it is easy to agree where airport expansion should not take place, but far less so to agree where it is appropriate.

"While it will not always be possible to agree completely, we are clear about the need to engage seriously with the issue.

"The people we represent would expect no less."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson came under heavy criticism from environmental campaigners in February when he said the government should re-examine plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary.

He has launched a feasibility study looking into the possibility, but earlier this month the Reporter exclusively revealed that he was not looking at environmentally sensitive sites in Cliffe or the Isle of Sheppey.

Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council (KCC) and Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly, is pushing for an expansion of the current facilities. He said: "I want to work with the Mayor to look at the case for making more efficient use of existing airport infrastructure.

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