Boris Johnson's grand plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary have received a boost after a top engineer claimed his ambitions could be easily delivered.
The Mayor of London sailed out to the potential site with engineers and politicians aboard a 122 metre dredger last Friday.
The group included Doug Oakervee, who masterminded Hong Kong's island airport and who is currently working on a feasibility study.
"I'm encouraged - from an engineering perspective it is quite clear that the Mayor's ambitions could be realised and the construction would be easier than other airports such as Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong and Kansai in Japan," he said.
"We have learned that there is a remote site where an airport could be built with minimal disruption to people of Essex and Kent. There are technical issues to be addressed but I see no overwhelming obstacle. We now need to work with other experts to address the challenges."
The Mayor said he had been 'reassured' by the visit and now 'eagerly awaited' Mr Oakervee's report in March.