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London airport on the Thames set for take-off

A new London airport on an island in the Thames estuary could be built in less than 10 years, a report due out this week claims

According to The Sunday Times, Douglas Oakervee, the engineer who masterminded Hong Kong’s international airport island in the 1990s will discuss his findings with a panel of experts at the Institution of Civil Engineer led by Sir David King, the government’s former chief scientist.

He will then submit the final report to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London in three weeks.

The airport would cost £40bn, span four runways and operate 24 hours a day, with landings over water to minimise disruption to residents. It would be linked to mainland terminals by either bridges or tunnels.

Despite political and environmental opposition to the scheme Johnson believes Heathrow is a ‘planning error of the 1960s’ because of its proximity to London and ultimately phased out.

‘My view is that in the long term we’re not just going to have to look at high speed rail, which I’m in favour of, we’re going to have to look at a potential solution in the Thames estuary,’ said Johnson.

The paper claims the airport will be based on two islands, each 2.8 miles long and 1.2 miles wide.

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