Leading aviation engineers gave the thumbs down to London mayor Boris Johnson’s proposals for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary at the annual NCE “Airport Design & Engineering Conference” last week.
The proposed hub is intended to replace Heathrow as it runs out of expansion options.
Aecomaviation director, Alex Lake, said the airport’s location severely limited its accessibility to motorists.
“If anyone says that the Thames estuary idea is much more environmentally friendly than Heathrow, challenge them about surface access.”
Alex Lake, Aecomaviation
He said that Heathrow can be accessed in under two hours from anywhere in the South East, but that it would only be possible for people in Essex, Sussex, Kent and London to reach the new airport in two hours or less.
“The catchment area is vastly smaller than Heathrow,” said Lake. “If anyone says that the Thames estuary idea is much more environmentally friendly [than Heathrow], challenge them about surface access. You can clearly see that Heathrow has the advantage.”
The problem would not just be for the people travelling through the airport but also the people that work there. Heathrow employs around 70000 people.
“One of the issues is how north Kent can cope with 1M people turning up on its doorstep and the impact of the job losses around Heathrow,” said Mott MacDonald head of aviation services Chris Chalk.