Floating runways scheme proposed for a Thames estuary airport – by Gensler
Another week. Another dotty airport scheme announced by the Standard. It reports that there are new plans for a floating airport in the Thames Estuary by a “major global architecture firm,” Gensler (from USA). Calling itself London Britannia Airport, it includes 4 floating runways tethered to the sea bed. Gensier says these could be floated in as required – allowing for future expansion to accommodate 6 runways, with several terminals on land, one in east London between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park, and there would be high speed rail links. The Standard says Gensler have built airports elsewhere in the world, but it appears it is only now in the process of building terminals at Seoul and Denver airports. Mr Mulcahey from Gensler said: “It absolutely could be done. It’s all fairly standard technology and marine engineering is what we’re good at in Britain.” Heathrow would become an eco-city.
The mothership lands: A striking new design for airport which could solve crisis
New plans for a floating airport in the Thames Estuary have been unveiled by a major global architecture firm.
London Britannia Airport, designed by architects Gensler, includes four floating runways tethered to the sea bed.
The Gensler experts say new runways could be floated in as required – allowing for future expansion to accommodate six landing strips.
Passengers would check in and arrive at terminals on the land.
Two would be located to the north and south of the estuary and a third central London terminal is proposed between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park.
The Standard understands that London Mayor Boris Johnson, who in the past backed proposals for a Thames island airport, dubbed “Boris Island”, has seen the Gensler proposal.
A spokesman for the Mayor said: “This will form, along with other significant submissions, an important part of discussions going forward.”
The airport would be connected to London by high-speed rail.
Gensler has built airports all over the world and unveiled the plans in a bid to be considered as the designers for any future airport project.
Ian Mulcahey, Project Director, told the Standard: “Because this airport is floating it could be positioned in an optimal location after you evaluate flight paths, bird migrations and all the rest of the issues in the estuary. There’s a lot of flexibility.”
Mr Mulcahey added: “It absolutely could be done. It’s all fairly standard technology and marine engineering is what we’re good at in Britain.
“The idea of floating runways is fairly basic stuff – we’re just proposing it on a scale, perhaps, that has never been done before.
“We’re locked in a political debate about whether to build a little runway extension [at Heathrow] or whether we build a proper airport.
“This could be an airport for the next 100 years.”
The Gensler scheme would see Heathrow Airport close and become a new eco-city and “the largest urban expansion project in Europe”, with housing for around 300,000 people.
http://www.gensler.com/ (one of those annoying websites, too arty for its own good, difficult to load or find information on)
It is building a terminal at Seoul Incheon airport, to be ready in 2017. http://www.gensler.com/#projects/380
It is building a terminal at Denver airport, to be ready in 2015. http://www.gensler.com/#projects/378
and has built two other terminals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gensler