London Could Get A Badass Floating Airport
Will we see floating airports in the future? Gensler, a San Francisco architectural firm, has designed and proposed an $80 million project to build an airport floating in the middle of London’s River Thames Estuary, and if their plans are approved then we’ll see more floating airports in our future.
Gensler’s proposal is called “London Britannia Airport” and would be tethered to the seabeds in London’s River Thames Estuary instead of on land like traditional airports. The terminal would rest in the center, and four tethered runways would run five kilometers long and float around it. Passengers would travel underground via rail through an advanced tunnel system to get to the floating airport. The plans also call for three parking lots on the estuary’s surrounding land for commuters and their cars.
Since the proposal is set for the middle of an estuary, the option for a 24-hour airport is a strong possibility since there are no houses or buildings surrounding it that would fall under strict noise-abatement restrictions in England. The London Britannia Airport would also provide homes for 300,000 people since the project is a revamping of the existing nearby Heathrow Airport.
If city planners pass the London Britannia Airport project then it would be Europe’s first floating airport. In 1940, London had already rejected plans for a floating airport. In 2003, San Diego’s floating airport was rejected due to high costs. And in 2000, Japan tested floating platforms that would serve as a proposed floating airport, but despite successful takeoffs and landings, the project was ultimately rejected.
There are many positives that come along with the proposed London Britannia Airport, but it’s up to government officials to clear this project for takeoff. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go belly up.