New London Thames Airport Plans Released

London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners is working with engineering consultancy firm Halcrow Group Limited on London's future airport design.

The Thames Airport would be a massive air travel site and is envisaged as the current Heathrow Airport's replacement. It would be constructed in the Thames Estuary area, east of London, and have the capacity to handle 150 million passengers a year (London Heathrow, by comparison, handled close to 66 million in 2010).

The Thames Airport would feature several features optimized to its environment, including the use of renewable energy derived from tidal power and flood barriers to keep the airport free of water ingress. It's also one element of a much wider UK transport program, generating stronger links between existing road, sea and air travel facilities.

London Thames Airport Plans  
More detailed information on the London Thames Airport plans is set to be published later on this summer but, for now, the subject's been covered in a Foster + Partners press release, which emerged at the start of August 2011.

"These visionary proposals are far from future fantasy", Lord Foster was quoted as having said in the press release. "They are both essential and down to earth. When you look at the eastwards thrust of London's infrastructure, with the Channel Tunnel and the Olympics, you can see how it would be possible to create a 24-hour airport.

"This move would greatly improve the quality of life for Londoners by reducing pollution and improving security. It would also allow London to compete with rapidly expanding airports in Europe and the Middle East."

New London Airport  
"The Thames Hub would provide a major economic boost for Kent and Essex, with the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs over a number of years and provide noise and air pollution relief for London's population", Halcrow's David Kerr added, in further comments on the new London airport.

"The proposals would make a significant contribution to the UK's commitment to reduce carbon emissions. If the UK is to remain globally competitive, these proposals need to be seriously considered."

The idea of a new London airport
in this part of the world actually dates back to the 1970s and, three years ago, was again brought into focus by the Mayor of London.