Zaha Hadid is understood to have been chosen to work with London Mayor Boris Johnson on his aviation plans
The appointment, as part of a team rumoured to be led by Atkins, could see her draw up proposals for a new airport east of London - Johnson’s preferred choice for a hub airport.
The AJ has learned that aviation experts Pascall + Watson are also on the job, described by sources as a ‘masterplanning review’.
Norman Foster and Gensler have already drawn up speculative, self-funded proposals for airports in the mouth of the Thames in a bid to tackle the capital’s aviation capacity issues.
Daniel Moylan, the Mayor’s aviation adviser, would not comment on the speculation, but said: ‘We have been engaged in a public procurement process to recruit a team of consultants in engineering and other relevant disciplines, including architecture. We shall be making an announcement soon.’
Speaking at the AJ100 Breakfast Club last week, Moylan confirmed that Mayor Johnson, although open to ideas about Luton and Stansted, was openly ‘biased’ towards a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary.
Moylan spelled out that Johnson had already ruled out an expansion of Heathrow, citing a raft of reasons including the adverse impact of the environment and increased sound pollution if extra runways were added (AJ 31.01.2013).
The airport tzar said that building an airport in the Thames could tie in with wider aims to create a new Thames flood barrier and to harness tidal power.