22-Jul-2013 1:47 PM

Foster + Partners submits Thames Hub proposal to Airports Commission

UK's Foster + Partners formally (19-Jul-2013) submitted plans for a new four-runway hub airport on the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary to the UK Airports Commission. The Thames Hub Airport proposal has been advocated by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, with Foster + Partners stating the new hub airport can open in 2029 with capacity for 110 million passengers p/a at a cost of GBP24 billion. The company noted the airport would have the flexibility to grow to 150 million passengers p/a and the majority of flights can approach the airport over water, meaning that unlike Heathrow, the airport can operate 24 hours a day. The airport has a viable private funding model and the proposed site capitalises on the eastward thrust of London’s development and existing investments in high-speed rail, reducing the need for additional surface access by connecting with High Speed 1, High Speed 2 and Crossrail. The company noted that under current legislation, the planning process would be identical to a third runway at Heathrow and The Thames Hub Airport can open within 16 years. Foster + Parnters added: "A third Heathrow runway would take the same time to build and would be full within a decade of opening, necessitating a fourth runway. Fewer homes would be relocated than at Heathrow and, without the constraints of an urban site and operational airport, it would be more cost-effective to build. Phased development can take into account evolving passenger demand and the transition carefully managed, with Heathrow transformed into a prosperous new London borough and a sustainable commercial centre to rival Canary Wharf". [more - original PR]

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