debate over airport capacity in southeast England that pits the existing Heathrow hub against his own proposals which include building an entirely new base far to the east. The EU rules would limit London to expanding terminal capacity at existing bases with less ambitious plans that could be more easily financed, he said. Consultation Almunias spokesman Antoine Colombani said the European Commission has taken no decision on the matter and that the EUs regulatory arm will now start to analyze feedback received during a consultation period that ended yesterday. We will of course carefully assess all the arguments raised, including in Mr. Johnsons letter, he said. The Commission said on publishing draft guidelines in July that airports with annual passenger numbers above 5 million are usually profitable and are able to cover all of their costs. Transport for London, the body that implements the mayors transport strategy, said in a submission accompanying his letter that while incremental investment can usually be privately financed, the delivery of larger one-off developments in the order of tens of billions of pounds would still require aid. Such projects would include the expansion or replacement of a major international airport, according to the document. Johnson has said Heathrow, Europe s busiest hub, should be replaced by one of two undeveloped sites in the Thames estuary or by an expanded Stansted airport, 35 miles north of London. The proposals, along with those of Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and other airports and stakeholders, were submitted to the state-appointed Davies Commission on U.K. airport capacity earlier this year, with a final recommendation due in 2015. Damage If the changes that the EC are proposing were adopted, they would seriously damage the ability of the commission to consider all options on a level playing field, Johnson said. TfL said in its submission that a new hub as envisaged by Johnson requires an estimated 20 billion pounds ($32 billion) of investment. Heathrow has also described as challenging the likelihood of raising private funds for a more modest proposal for new runways costing from 14 billion pounds, it added. A four-runway hub could quadruple the number of cities in China and South America served from London and add 50 percent more in the U.S., while restoring routes to U.K. locations now served only from Amsterdam Schiphol, Johnson said in July.
NFL exec: London getting ‘huge game’ of winless teams
Unfortunately for the Bills, they’re only 1-4 in “home” games at the Rogers Centre in an event that’s been met with tepid local enthusiasm and overpriced tickets. Rick Stewart, Getty Images But the International Series’ flagship affairs occur in London, beginning with the Dolphins-Giants matchup in 2007, which came complete with a 26-foot statue of Miami defender Jason Taylor. The game was the NFL’s first regular-season foray outside North America. Ben Stansall, Getty Images The contest itself was nothing memorable, plagued by rain and a waterlogged Wembley field that didn’t hold up very well under the damp conditions. Richard Heathcote, Getty Images QB Eli Manning’s 10-yard TD run helped give the Giants a 13-10 win during a season that later produced a Super Bowl XLII victory for them. Richard Heathcote, Getty Images Perhaps the most entertaining installment came when the high-powered offenses of the Saints and Chargers converged at Wembley in 2008. Nick Laham, Getty Images Saints WR Lance Moore celebrates a 30-yard TD reception in a game New Orleans won 37-32, the most points ever scored in an international game. Matt Dunham, AP England got a taste of New England football when Tom Brady’s Patriots trounced the Buccaneers 35-7 in 2009. Brady passed for three TDs. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports The Brits got a full dose of Broncos QB Kyle Orton (8) in 2010 rather than experiencing the play of then-rookie Tim Tebow. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports WR Michael Crabtree and the 49ers were too much for Orton’s Broncos, winning 24-16. Alastair Grant, AP Fullscreen The Buccaneers, who are owned by the Glazer family (they also control world-famous soccer club Manchester United), were back in 2011. But they fared no better against the Bears, who won 24-18 as RB Matt Forte racked up 183 yards from scrimmage and scored one TD. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Brady and the Pats invaded again in 2012. They faced a Rams squad that had initially agreed to play three “home” games at Wembley but later backed out given their tenuous stadium circumstances in St. Louis. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski stole the show in a 45-7 wipeout of the Rams, catching eight passes for 146 yards and two TDs. In his Gronk save the Queen performance, the tight end mimicked a member of the Queen’s Guard after one of his scores — or, in Gronk-speak, “That little nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house. … I like how he just sits there and stays still. It’s pretty cool.” Jamie McDonald Getty Images Fullscreen It would probably be pretty cool for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to put a franchise in London as part of his legacy. However a league official recently told USA TODAY Sports there won’t be a team permanently based abroad anytime soon.