A new offshore airport proposal has been put forward as a solution to future runway capacity problems in the south east of England. Sandbanks that have always been a serious hazard to shipping in the English Channel, have been identified as the potential answer to London’s requirement for a new hub airport.
The Goodwin Sands, which lie just 1.8 miles (3km) off the east coast of Kent, are being proposed as the site for the new hub airport needed for London.
The idea has been put forward by London-based maritime engineers, Beckett Rankine.
Company Director, Tim Beckett explained: “We believe that an offshore hub airport is
the only option that can realistically provide the four new, independent runways that research reveals London needs.
“If the Davies Commission endorses the long-term requirement for a new, four-runway
hub airport for London, then locating it at Goodwin will have the least adverse social and environmental impact of any option. It is certainly the most sustainable solution available.”
Beckett Rankine reports that the Mayor of London’s Aviation Adviser, Daniel Moylan said: “The Mayor has been encouraging proposals for a new airport to the east of London and this proposal is welcome as a contribution to a critical national debate and as a demonstration that a new airport is feasible and deliverable.
“The arguments for the construction of a new hub airport in the UK are overwhelming and this proposal offers one option of how to build it. We now urgently need to recognise that a new hub airport is the answer to our aviation capacity problems and press ahead with considering the best way to deliver that airport.”
Beckett Rankine says the Goodwin Sands site has several advantages. Firstly it: “comfortably provides space for four runways 1.5km apart enabling independent
runway operation to maximise capacity – other alternatives do not.” In addition the Goodwin Sands location could offer: “excellent transport links with a 40-minute high-speed rail connection to London via the existing HS1 line or road access via existing major
roads. The company adds that the proposed site is within UK territorial waters and owned by the Crown Estate and, unlike the other solutions connected to the land, this alternative would allow take-offs and landings over water, enabling unrestricted 24-hour operations.
With regard to the environment Beckett Rankine says the Godwin Sands site will not impact on any protected environment or interfere with any shipping lanes and no residents would need to be relocated.