Consulting engineer Beckett Rankine is promoting the idea of building on the Goodwin Sands, 3km off the east coast of Kent near Deal. It claims that the project can be brought in at under £40bn.
Director Tim Beckett said: “The location of an airport offshore is an alternative that crowded island nations are turning to across the globe. We believe that an offshore hub airport is the only option that can realistically provide the four new, independent runways that research reveals London needs.”
South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong have all built offshore airports, he pointed out.
Mr Beckett added: “We believe that an offshore hub airport is the only option that can realistically provide the four new, independent runways that research reveals London needs.
“If the Davies Commission endorses the long-term requirement for a new, four runway hub airport for London, then locating it at Goodwin will have the least adverse social and environmental impact of any option. It is certainly the most sustainable solution available.”
The promoters reckon that connecting to the existing HS1 rail line to St Pancras could make the airport 40 minutes from central London.
They argue that unlike similar proposals for the Thames and Medway estuaries, Goodwin Sands is not a bird breeding area and has no impact on protected areas or shipping lanes.
A budget construction cost estimate has been prepared for the Phase 1 development of Goodwin Airport with three runways. Costs are based on 2012 prices. No allowance has been included for land acquisition costs or for inflation.
- Construction of the island - £3.5bn
- Link to mainland - £1.2bn
- Harbour - £1.2bn
- Roads, rail and runways - £11.4bn
- Improve existing infrastructure - £3bn
- Buildings and structures - £8.7bn
- Equipment and Systems - £10.2bn
- Total - £39.2bn
Beckett Rankine is a London-based international engineering consultancy that specialises in the planning, design and project management of marine infrastructure. A recent project involved the creation of the world’s largest manmade harbour at Ras Laffan in Qatar to accommodate the country’s rapidly increasing gas exports.