Stansted architect unveils plans for world's biggest airport on the Thames

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Stansted architect unveils plans for world's biggest airport on the ThamesStock photo, Thames Estuary, Kent: PA


London Mayor Boris Johnson's plans to build an airport on the Thames Estuary may have been scorned - but there's one man who believes it's entirely possible, and has a £50 billion vision to build the world's biggest airport here.

Renowned architect Lord Norman Foster, the man behind London Stansted and Hong's Chep Lap Kok airports as well as Wembley Stadium, has unveiled his plan for a solution to London's aviation crisis: a four runway airport that would be capable of handling 150 million passengers a year, three times the capacity of Heathrow.

The Thames Hub airport would be built on reclaimed marshland on the Hoo Peninsula on the Isle of Grain, 55km from London, and would include the UK's busiest railway station, handling 300,000 passengers a day.

It would be connected to London by high-speed rail, which would take 30-minutes.

There would also be rail services to the Midlands, the north of England, Suffolk and Essex from the UK's largest train station, to be built below the airport.

The plans come in the same week that both the Coalition Government and the Labour Party ruled out the possibility of a third runway at Heathrow.

But, while Boris is pleased that a 'distinguished figure like Lord Foster agrees that the answer to Britain's aviation needs lie in the Thames estuary', councillors and the residents of Kent, surprisingly, don't share his enthusiasm.