Lord Norman Foster is stepping up his fight for a new airport to serve the UK’s capital of London built close to the estuary of the River Thames.
The proposals have not found favour with a recent report into how best to upgrade the country’s aviation infrastructure which favours expanding existing facilities at Heathrow.
But Foster is calling on Britain’s government to “recapture the foresight and political courage” of the recent past to secure what he feels can be a prosperous economic future.
His proposals have received support from an influential pressure group which acts as a think tank for UK PM David Cameron’s ruling Conservative Party – who say that if it is not adopted Britain will fall further behind countries such as the UAE in the field of aviation.
The proposal calls for a 24-hour four runway hub on the Isle of Grain – an area close to London but sparsely populated.
Foster + Partners envisage the Thames Hub to be connected to the main rail lines which serve the capital and the rest of the UK – and also to the high speed line which runs to Paris and Brussels.
The architect – voted number one in the world by MEA – says:: “We need to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears if we are to establish a modern transport and energy infrastructure in Britain.
“The current ‘patch and mend’ attitude to increase airport capacity is not the answer to the massive challenges we face today.
“The Thames Hub is part of a larger ideal to create an infrastructural ‘spine’, which binds together the rail, communication, and energy networks currently being built across the country.”
The planned Thames Hub airport would cater for 150 million [passengers per year say the design team while an integrated rail hub at the terminal will serve 300,000 people a day and cater for the 150 million passengers per annum
Independent research has shown that in the next decade the UK needs to connect to 55 new destinations across the world to maintain a consistent share of global trade.
Foster says: “It is a bold concept that continues to gain validity as the city expands eastward and transport links strengthen. We believe the Thames Hub is the only comprehensive, durable solution that can ensure aviation hub status and long-term economic prosperity in Britain for this century and beyond.
“As someone who is close to the world of aviation, I believe there are also serious security risks of overflying the heart of a city at the scale of London.”