PLANS for a huge, new, £50 billion, London airport in the Thames Estuary have been unveiled by world famous architect Lord Norman Foster.
Not to be confused with another Thames Estuary scheme backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, Foster’s Thames Hub airport would be based at the Isle of Grain’s Hoo peninsular.
Johnson’s ‘Boris Island’ project involves building a new island off the coast, but there are signs the Mayor could be willing to team up with Foster.
“I am delighted that a distinguished figure like Lord Foster agrees that the answer to Britain’s aviation needs lies in the estuary,” said Johnson.
In the plans revealed today, the Thames Hub would feature four floating runways, extensive train links to the rest of the UK and be capable of fielding 150 million passengers a year, more than double Heathrow’s current capacity.
“Britain can no longer trade on its aged infrastructure,” said Foster.
“A fast-growing population and an evolving global economy demand the quality of the UK’s infrastructure be improved and its capacity increased dramatically.”
Since the rejection of an extra runway at Heathrow, attention has turned to the east as the source of new airport capacity and, despite massive local oppposition, the government looks set to back one of the Thames Estuary schemes.
“There are a number of different proposals that we have to look at,” said new Transport secretary Justine Greening, who added that she had not “ruled out” a Thames Estuary solution.
“We have people like the Mayor [Boris Johnson] who have proposals for new airports. I have no doubt that he will want to raise it with me,” added Greening.