LONDON mayor Boris Johnson has set out an elaborate plan to build a mini city around the proposed Thames Estuary airport.

The “aerotropolis”, located off the coast of south Essex, could become home to 20,000 people and feature major developments, such as a hospital, university campus and major business centre.

Mr Johnson also hopes to create, what he calls, a social infrastructure, including shops, parks, schools and a transport network.

He has revealed his lofty ambitions after a visit to Hyderabad, India.

Its two-runway airport is set to double in size over the next five years and is a leading example of the vision for building cities around an airport.

Speaking from the Indian airport after his week-long tour of the country, Mr Johnson said: “This airport in Hyderabad is very impressive. “The Indians are very ambitious, but they are very efficient as they use the airport to grow the local economy. They are quite right. We have much to learn.

“I very much admire that vision and I’m thinking along similar lines in London.

“We have an airport capacity crisis. India’s vision of an aerotropolis is extremely powerful.”

The proposed £50billion Thames Estuary airport, just a few miles off the coast of Southend and Canvey, could see 150million passengers pass through every year.

Mr Johnson believes the idea would provide a long-term plan for Britain’s airport capacity crisis and prevent further expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.