Hyperloop technology could be used to expand airport capacity in London, replacing the need for a third runway at Heathrow, Hyperloop One managing director for the Middle East and India Harj Dhaliwal has claimed.
In an exclusive interview with New Civil Engineer, Dhaliwal claimed that hyperloop technology could be a “gamechanger” when it comes to enhancing airport connectivity.
In London, Dhaliwal suggested that an extensive network connecting Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow airports with purpose-built “check in terminals” in central London would replace the need for a third runway at Heathrow.
“When we start looking at multiple airports that serve a region, the question I would [ask] then is ‘is that the right way to go about expanding capacity?’” Dhaliwal said.
“In the London context, there are three [major] airports: Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow. One could turn around and say: ‘Why do we not connect them?’”
Dhaliwal added: “Imagine having airports connecting to airports but imagine now that, because of the security and the ability for each pod to only go where it is programmed to go […] you can have remote check-in terminals within the cities.
“No longer do you have to build massive terminals. You can actually have remote terminals in city centres, and that pod would check you in and your baggage in and take you straight airside to your point of departure.
“All of a sudden I think the whole logic around airport planning could be affected and I think that is something that we could really look at as we go forward.”
A high speed link connecting Heathrow and Gatwick has previously been dismissed by government. Last year, New Civil Engineer revealed that the HS4Air proposal connecting Heathrow and Gatwick to HS2 had been thrown out by the Department for Transport after being submitted as a privately-funded scheme.
At present, Heathrow airport expansion bosses are still proving resolute in pushing on with plans to build a third runway.
Five legal challenges to the expansion programme – from Heathrow Hub, environmentalists, London mayor Sadiq Khan and local councils – were simultaneously heard at the High Court at the end of March.
They were mounted after the House of Commons voted in favour of building the runway, approving transport secretary Chris Grayling’s National Policy Statement (NPS) by 415 votes to 119, in June last year.
Judges have yet to hand down their decision following the hearing. A ruling is expected by the end of May.
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