Plans for £39billion four-runway airport in Goodwin Sands off Deal coast revealed
What the four-runway
airport on Goodwin Sands off Deal could look like
Ambitious plans for a £39billion hub airport off the east Kent
coast have been revealed today - rivalling ideas for a Thames
Goodwin Sands, in the English Channel off Deal, is the
location for the latest in a string of ideas for an
international airport in the county.
Architects have drawn up plans for a four-runway airport
for the 10-mile sandbank in a bid to solve London's aviation
It is hoped it would provide a massive boost to east Kent's
The proposal has been welcomed by both engineering experts and
the aviation advisor to Mayor of London Boris Johnson - who has
previously heralded plans for an island airport in the Thames
A government-commissioned report is examining if there
could be a new hub airport in Kent or elsewhere in the south east -
but the results will not be published until after the next
An airport at Goodwin
Sands would have high-speed rail links
The latest plans come from London-based maritime engineers
Its proposed four-runway airport would have
a 40-minute high-speed rail connection to London, road access
via the A2 and M20 as well as Eurostar connections to Europe.
Architects said, unlike a Thames Estuary airport, the plans
are not for a bird breeding area.
The airport, which would operate 24 hours, could be built
without demolishing any homes or wind farms.
Director Tim Beckett said: "We believe that an offshore hub
airport is the only option that can realistically provide the four
new, independent runways that research reveals London needs.
Davies Commission endorses the long-term requirement for a new,
four runway hub airport for London, then locating it at Goodwin
will have the least adverse social and environmental impact of any
"It is certainly the most sustainable solution available.
Creating a new airport for London presents a major regenerative
"We believe that east Kent is an area that could benefit most
from the boost of new jobs and economic uplift."
Antony Oliver, editor of New Civil Engineer
magazine, welcomed the proposal.
He said: "Beckett Rankine has brought an intelligent engineering
solution to the challenge of providing for the future expansion of
London's runway capacity.
"Goodwin Airport is a solution that needs to be considered along
with the Foster proposal and the expansion of Heathrow."
But Jamie Weir, Kent spokesman for the Campaign to
Protect Rural England, said: "Many south east airports such as
Manston currently have plenty of runway capacity, so why are new
airport proposals being pitched on a daily basis?
"The question of whether we actually need fresh capacity is the
one which needs to be answered before we start looking for
"This proposal, like all of those in the Thames Estuary, fails
to even recognise this. We believe that the UK government must
prove the need for additional capacity before anything like this is
"We believe that east Kent is an area that could benefit most from the boost of new jobs and economic uplift...” – engineer Tim Beckett
Daniel Moylan, the Mayor of London's aviation
advisor, said: "The mayor has been encouraging proposals for a
new airport to the east of London and this proposal is welcome as a
contribution to a critical national debate and as a demonstration
that a new airport is feasible and deliverable.
"The arguments for the construction of a new hub airport in the
UK are overwhelming and this proposal offers one option of how to
"We now urgently need to recognise that a new hub airport is the
answer to our aviation capacity problems and press ahead with
considering the best way to deliver that airport."
high-profile plans for a Thames Estuary airport
It is the latest idea for a hub airport off the Kent coast to
offer a solution to ease pressure on Heathrow.
The most high-profile was a multi-billion pounds
scheme to build a huge hub airport in the Thames Estuary announced
last year by renowned architect Lord Foster.
It would be built on the Hoo Peninsula and would more than
double the capacity of Heathrow - handling up to 150 million
passengers each year, 24 hours every day.
The government established an independent commission to tackle
the issue of the country's aviation capacity earlier this year.
Led by economist Sir Howard Davies, it is due to issue interim
findings by the end of next year and a final report in 2015.
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