Terry Farrell has been appointed to the Thames Estuary Airport Steering Group in a bid to make Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s dream of a floating airport become reality.
The panel, which is chaired by former government chief scientist David King, will conduct a detailed study into proposals to build artificial islands off the coast of Kent to house a sister airport to Heathrow.
Farrell said: ‘I have supported the mayor’s airport initiative as it brings together highly experienced individuals who could help form and lead this debate, though I believe that whether there is a new estuary airport or not is only one part of this bigger view.’
The group will look at the feasibility of constructing an artificial island to host two runways – similar to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport – as well as high-speed rail links from London to the new hub.
It is anticipated that the creation of an airport in the estuary, including associated infrastructure, would cost in the region of £40 billion and current plans suggest it could be finished by 2030.
Farrell, who is also the mayor’s design champion for the Thames Gateway, has already proposed his own outer island scheme for the region, which includes an elaborate road crossing between Sheerness, the Isle of Grain and the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
Farrell added: ‘The mayor’s initiative also enables the debate on the estuary’s broader planning to be enhanced in relation to the private sector investment in climate change issues, the future of shipping and ports, major road and rail links as well as my long-standing interest in the estuary as an exemplar of environmental, ecological and landscape planning.’