Boris Johnson today announced the appointment of "a mighty team of experts" to help develop his hub airport plans.
The Mayor of London has been a vocal opponent of plans for a third runway at Heathrow and backs a new super-airport, dubbed "Boris Island", in the Thames Estuary or possible expansion of Stansted Airport.
His airport team announced today will include UK-based design, engineering and project management consultants Atkins and architects Pascall & Watson, whose previous projects include Heathrow Terminal 5, Dublin Airport Terminal 2 and St Pancras International rail station in London.
The announcement came hours before Mr Johnson was due to give evidence on aviation strategy to the House of Commons Transport Committee.
Mr Johnson said: "It is absolutely imperative that work to progress a new hub airport in the South East is completed as soon as possible.
"The Government has set a timetable that dawdles when dash should be the order of the day. That is why I have assembled a mighty team of experts who I have tasked with delivering a fulsome examination of the most realistic solutions to our aviation crisis in the shortest time possible, which I look forward to sharing with the Government."
Mr Johnson has already expressed his disapproval over the pace of the Government's airport plans, with the Whitehall-appointed Davies Commission on aviation not due to make its final report until summer 2015 – after the next general election.
Around 15 different proposals for a new hub airport in south east England have already been made public and Mr Johnson has consulted on criteria that will be used to evaluate each of those proposals to form a shortlist of options.
That shortlist is expected to be announced within weeks and the team now assembled by the mayor will combine their expertise to produce detailed feasibility studies of the shortlisted options that he will submit to the Davies Commission.