AN EXPERT in constructing airports on artificial islands will brief the London Assembly on building an airport in the Thames Estuary next month.

Leading civil engineer Douglas Oakervee found building an airport on the site was technically feasible, after he was asked to look into the idea by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The proposed £40bn project nicknamed 'Boris Island' has come under a barrage of criticism in recent months and faces opposition from local councils and wildlife groups.

Now Mr Oakervee will deliver his report on March 11 to discuss the potential environmental impacts of the plan.

Chair of the environment committee on the assembly, Murad Qureshi, said: “The idea of a new airport in the Thames estuary has been floating around for quite some time, and has generally been dismissed as something that is never realistically going to happen.

“But with the Mayor promoting the idea again, including commissioning a feasibility study and setting up a steering group, we feel it is our duty to look into the issue on behalf of Londoners because if it were to go ahead there could be major environmental implications.

“We hope Mr Oakervee will be able to shed some light on the feasibility and potential impacts of the proposal at our meeting next month.”

Last year Dartford Council leader Councillor Jeremy Kite branded the plan “ridiculous” and warned of possible bird strikes if an airport were built.

Cllr Kite’s fears were echoed by the RSPB as the site lies in the midst of large wetlands.

Kent County Council and Medway Council also slammed the proposals.

Mr Johnson wants to build another airport near London as an alternative to a third runway at Heathrow, which according to reports, could be built in 10 years.

Mr Oakervee, who was behind Hong Kong's international airport, has previously said a four-runway airport across two islands, linked to mainland terminals by bridges or tunnels, is a possibility.