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London's new airport concept by Foster and Partners.

Images: Foster and Partners.

The ability of the UK authorities to procrastinate over the planning of crucial infrastructure projects is remarkable. Party and local politics, as well as “Not In My Back Yard” attitudes are all allowed to frustrate certain key projects such as power, airports and railways.

In an attempt to do something about London's lack of capacity at its main airport, Heathrow, the Mayor of London is working with Foster and Partners to develop a concept for a new hub airport in the Thames estuary.

This masterplan has been submitted to a government commission who are looking into the problem. We take a look at the key features.

The new airport would create 4 runways, handle 110M people per year in its first phase and crucially, be expandable for other future phases. It would operate as a hub airport with other nearby airports working on a point to point basis. It proposes to use existing public transport infrastructure in phase 1 with capability to integrate new transport systems as they are built. The planning of new railway infrastructure could bypass London with passenger and cargo lines reaching out into the provinces.

A related infrastructure element proposes a new Thames barrier to mitigate against the effects of rising sea levels and global warming. This would bringing much needed protection in helping the UK capital to avoid catastrophic flooding.

 

 

 

 

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