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Thames Estuary airport: Pictures of space-age designs unveiled
MARTIANS have not landed near Gravesend – these space age images are an artist’s impression of a design firm’s new concept for an airport in the Thames Estuary.
Designer Gensler has revealed its vision for London Britannia Airport which it would be “the world’s most innovative infrastructure development this century” while reducing the environmental impact, cost and disruption to London.
The company said it could build the airport cheaply and quickly, giving the UK its first 24/7 airport within a decade.
Gensler’s managing principal and creative director for the airport, Chris Johnson, said: “This is a once in a century project that will build on a new symbol of national pride.”
He said that it is a “fantastic opportunity” to “provide a genuine 21st century airport that creates a new standard for the world, minimising nuisance and maximising environmental benefits”.
Being based at sea, Gensler believes noise disruption will be limited and no homes will need to be demolished to build the airport and its four, five kilometre, floating runways which would be tethered to the sea bed.
Gensler said the airport would avoid the negative impacts of reclaiming land and its location could be optimised to avoid key feeding and migration areas for wildlife.
Underwater rail tunnels would connect the airport to central London and high speed lines.
Up to six runways could be accommodated eventually because they could be floated in.
Marine turbines would create much of the power, while access from vehicles could come from terminals either side of the estuary and from one between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park.
Gensler also suggested transforming Heathrow into an eco village with housing for 300,000 people and 200,000 jobs.
Last week, the Government announced that it will make no firm decisions on UK airport expansion before the next general election.
The coalition government was initially opposed to a third runway at Heathrow - an expansion which was supported by the last Labour administration.
But leading Tories have, of late, called for a third runway, while London Mayor Boris Johnson and architect Lord Foster have proposed new estuary airports.