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Sell Heathrow to fund estuary airport, urges Foster

Norman Foster has told the government to close and redevelop Heathrow airport to pay for a new Thames Estuary air hub

Foster has called on the government to reject plans to expand Heathrow with a third runway and instead support proposals for a new mega-hub to the east of London connected to the capital via high speed rail.

Floating a new funding model for the £33 billion proposal, Foster told The Financial Times: ‘A third Heathrow runway is not a long-term solution – more in the Band-Aid tradition. A new airport would take the same time to get planning but would give us the capacity we need for decades to come.’

His remarks follow concern the government might be planning a u-turn on its opposition to Heathrow’s controversial expansion.

Last year, Foster and Partners with Halcrow unveiled plans for a four runway airport on the Isle of Grain featuring a tidal energy barrage and a major new flood protection barrier.

Foster’s latest funding solution proposes raising £10 billion from the redevelopment of Heathrow and £8 billion from landing charges at the west London airport between 2018 and 2028.

Levies on landing charges at the new airport for a decade after its 2028 opening would raise a further £11 billion and £4 billion would come from developing land around the mega-hub.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Four runways at Heathrow with Foster Terminals is better than the rash measure of Isle of Grain recycled scheme or the Island Airport.

    Four runways should have been a solution for the past 5 years to offset noise increase from large powered planes.

    Better not lose more time build Heathrow 4 increase.

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  • Thames estuary connects Rail, sea and air transport, this will, increase valuable import/export industry, while it improves travel, freight and cargo further improving and reducing the cost of travel and product in the country.

    Heathrow is a nightmare for congestion on the roads and difficult to expand to fulfill near future expectations, how can we expand or improve it when it is in the wrong place and imposing noise on residential areas.

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