The Thames Hub, to be built on reclaimed marshland on the Isle of Grain, Kent, is an astonishing £50 billion vision to solve London’s aviation crisis.
The four-runway airport would serve 150 million passengers a year – more than twice as many as Heathrow – and it would operate 24 hours a day.
It would also include the UK’s busiest railway station, handling 300,000 passengers a day.
Even The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, yesterday declared his support for the plans, despite them rivalling his own vision for a ‘floating’ airport in the Thames Estuary.
The airport was designed by architect Lord Norman Foster, who also masterminded the new Wembley Stadium.
Only a limited number of residents within the vicinity of the airport would be affected by noise, too, since planes would fly in from the north-east, primarily over water.
London’s main airports are expected to reach bursting point in 2030 and a third runway at Heathrow airport has been ruled out, making this airport a necessity.
Lord Foster said: We need to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th political courage of our 19th century forebears if we are to establish a modern transport and energy infrastructure in Britain for this century and beyond. We can do it here.”
However, the airport plan has come up against strong opposition.
Councillor Rodney Chambers, the leader of Medway Council in Kent, said: “The Isle of Grain is home to one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas terminals, with a fifth of the UK’s gas supply offloaded by container ships and stored there.
“We have looked at Lord Foster’s plan and he appears to want to place his fantasy Isle of Grain airport on top of the LNG plant and a power station. It beggars belief.”
The airports supporters claim that if the government supports the scheme, sovereign wealth funds and wealthy foreign investors will stump up the cash to make it a reality.