London: A proposal to develop a £20 billion ($32 billion), four-runway airport with twice the capacity of London Heathrow on a piece of land in the Thames estuary, as part of a wider integrated transport solution for the UK has been put forward by a group of architects and consultants. The project has a total price tag of £50 billion ($80 billion).
Dubbed as the "Thames Hub" the project would include a new flood protection barrier along with hydro-electric power stations that could harness enough energy to run the airport, and a four-track high-speed rail route that would circle London and link the airport with the north, south and west of the UK. This would be in addition to the proposed airport.
The airport would be capable of handling 150 million passengers a year, which the planners claim will "enable the UK to retain its global aviation hub status".
The project has been conceived by architecture firm Foster & Partners, infrastructure consultants Halcrow and economists Volterra Partners.
The project would be located on the Isle of Grain, around 36 miles (57km) to the east of London.
The question, whether the airport would act as a long-term replacement for London Heathrow, remains open for discussion.