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New plans for Thames Estuary airport revealed

PUBLISHED: 10:11 30 November 2012 | UPDATED: 10:33 30 November 2012

The plan for the London Jubilee International Airport

The plan for the London Jubilee International Airport

Archant

Bridget Rosewell’s plans deemed ‘unworkable’ by councillor

Yet another ambitious proposal for a multi-billion pound airport terminal off the north Kent coast has emerged – this time linking a Thames Estuary airport with the international rail terminal at Ebbsfleet.

Dubbed the London Jubilee International Airport (LJIA), it has been put forward by a former advisor to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Bridget Rosewell, former economic advisor to the Greater London Authority, says the designs would cost £49bn and be open for business by 2025. The airport would be equipped to handle up to 160m passengers a year.

A key difference to other designs already in the public domain is that it would look to utilise the rail hub at Ebbsfleet to form part of the terminal complex, before a high-speed rail service took passengers to the runways, built off the coast of Sheppey, Whitstable and Herne Bay.

It would boast five runways – with scope to extend to six.

However, the plans have already been slammed by a leading borough and county councillor who described them as “unworkable and unaffordable”.

Bryan Sweetland, Conservative member of Gravesham Borough Council and Kent County Council, said: “The Bridget Rosewell plan is just another in an increasing list of unworkable and unaffordable proposals that would cause untold environmental damage to the Thames Estuary. The proposal is clearly flawed and unworkable.”

But Ms Rosewell said she believes the idea will eliminate noise issues for residents and said the plans were not unaffordable.

She said: “People want to fly but do not want planes near them because they are noisy. The idea of putting the runway in the water solves the problem. If we are not connected to the rest of the world the UK economy will die. All infrastructure is expensive but without infrastructure we do not have an economy.”

Ms Rosewell added that wildlife would not be affected as there are already wind farms on the site.

She said: “If the turbines can be there then we can put the airport there. It’s not where there are lots of birds.

“[We are] trying to get the planes away from the people with a minimum impact on the environment.”

However, a spokesman for CPRE Protect Kent said the airport was not needed.

He said: “We are not convinced that there is any need for any more air capacity in the south east. Even if there were, anything in the Thames Estuary would be abysmal.”

Kent County Council, Medway Council and surrounding borough and district councils are all opposed to the idea of a Thames Estuary airport.

6 comments

  • This is a test comment by Archant IS.

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    Matt

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • CPRE Protect Kent are quite right when they say there may be no need to build a new airport. Manston Airport in NE Kent is sitting substantially underused, and with none of the drawbacks that other SE airports have. AS Why Not Manston? have pointed out, now that KLM will be operating four flights a day to and from Manston, from April 2013, a Thames Estuary Airport is totally superfluous. Nicholas Reed

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    Sunday, December 2, 2012

  • There are just too many barriers in the way of a major hub airport like those proposed being built in the Thames for any of these proposals to be taken seriously. To start off with the site is too far East and would require aircraft to start their approach over Amsterdam Schipol disrupting Dutch airspace capacity. In that location a new hub would cause the closure of Southend and London City and limit the use of Gatwick and Stansted. In addition to force airlines to relocate from Heathrow, that airport would need to close as well. This why the head of NATS said that it was the worst place to build an airport. So in effect you would be abandoning four runways ad disrupting access to another countries hub and our two remaining major airports in order to build a four runway replacement. Even if you found a solution to this there is the issue of finding another location for the bird life. Under European legislation an area of equal or greater size in a neighbouring area would need to be provided which had a similar ecology. There is no such area available unless you flooded a very large area of around hald of Kent or Essex. If you leave the birds were they are, you increase the risk of an air crash due to bird strike by twelve times that of any other airport. Stop wasting time and tax payers money on this - it can never happen.

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    Colin from Chelmsford

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • My understanding is that Ebbsfleet was built with the capacity already planned to allow a dedicated branch line to ANY of the proposed airports in the Thames Estuary.This was decided years ago. My guess is that an airport WILL be built on an extended Isle of Grain and the other two proposals are nothing more than a 'smokescreen' to persuade us all to accept the lesser of all evils. As for Manston - who know what is hidden under those runways!

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    Simon Pearce

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • It costs £130 return from Herne Bay to Gatwick and takes approx. 1.5 hours. It costs by car to Manston £3.00 for fuel and takes 20 mns. car parking is £5.00 per day. The return fare from Manston to Schiphol is £99 and takes approx. 50 mns. To me it's a no brainer.

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    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Manston is not an option either. to start off with it is further away from central London than, Southampton making it very unpopular with the business community. It would also cause the majority of the UK's population to get around London to get to the airport. Montréal–Mirabel International Airport is a prime example of what happens if you do not build the hub airport in proximity to its major customer base. Given the volume of traffic and the runway alignment, expanding Manston into a five runway hub airport would cause disruption to Belgian and French airspace. Again a non starter

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    Colin from Chelmsford

    Monday, December 3, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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