New London Airport: Floating?

The plan to expand London Heathrow’s Airport has been quite vehemently protested (despite a clear necessity – that airport is not equipped to handle the insane amount of transit it has to cope with!) and so architecture firm Gensler proposed this amazing little treasure: a floating airport.

The “London Britannia Airport” would be an expensive endeavour at £50 billion (US$80 billion) but before you balk at the price, check out what it would have:

  • It would float on the Estuary of the River Thames – so no land to be taken up.
  • It would be surrounded by four floating runways, which would be stabilised with tethering to the riverbed. Heathrow currently only has two runways.
  • Only one terminal. Anyone who’s been to Heathrow and been confused about all the multiple terminals and how to get from one to the other will appreciate this.
  • The airport will connect to London’s train system, as well as the European rail lines, making this hub a transition point between the air and the rest of Europe.

The plan also involves converting the old Heathrow airport into an “eco-city”, which would provide homes for as many as 300,000 people!

The writers at Geekosystem seem to believe that due to the hefty price tag and the legal hoops to jump through ­– not to mention “the sheer insanity of the whole project” – the proposal will never actually be approved. I think it’s a crying shame because that would be one of most epic airports to have ever existed.

What do you think? Floating airport yay or nay?

[Via Geekosystem]