Testrad consortium unveils design for ‘Boris Island’ London Airport

The design and details of the proposed Thames estuary airport have been unveiled, according to a report by the BBC.

According to the consortium behind the proposal, London Britannia Airport, the proposed six-runway airport, formerly known as Boris Island, would cost £47.3bn and could be built within seven years.

Testrad (Thames Estuary Research and Development), the key agency forming the consortium, said that the island scheme avoided the problems of other land-based airport developments, including demolition of houses, removal of green field sites, bird strikes, acquisition of private land and demolition of industrial infrastructure.

‘Most importantly it avoids flying over densely populated areas of London and the South East, removing completely the noise contours and impact which have bedevilled millions of people throughout and around London over the past 40 years,’ a spokeswoman said.

According to the consortium, while Heathrow would probably have to close, the opportunities for new housing, employment and economic regeneration were enormous. It said £47bn would be recouped from the real estate value and closure of Heathrow.

The Davies airport commission is presently reviewing potential sites for more airport capacity in the South East, including additional runways at Gatwick and Heathrow.

Testrad said there could be a new London borough in the Heathrow area with 300,000 new houses and about 200,000 new jobs, enabling economic regeneration of east London, Kent and Essex.

The runway configuration would allow three or four aircraft to operate at the same time, 24-hours-a-day in all weather conditions, it said. The plan also details the positions for logistics operations, passenger check-in and arrival terminals and the important rail links.

The London Britannia Airport would be located on the same site as the former ‘Boris Island’ plan, but the project was a new ‘iteration’ of research conducted years ago, the spokeswoman added.

Testrad is the original agency formed by London mayor, Boris Johnson, to study the estuary airport option, but it now involves partners including architecture, marine, environment, transport and aviation experts, she said.

Medway, Kent and Southend councils, the RSPB and environmental campaigners have opposed the estuary airport plans, the report noted.