NEW plans for a six-runway airport in the Thames Estuary will be unveiled this week.

The plans for the new airport, off the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, will be presented in the House of Lords tomorrow.

London Britannia Airport, as it has been dubbed, would have a dock so goods could be shipped across from the new London Gateway superport at Stanford-le-Hope.


A rival plan, for a four-runway airport on the Isle of Grain, also in Kent, has been put forward by Wembley Stadium designer Lord Foster.

Terminals for arrivals and departures would be located in East London, Kings Cross and Ebbsfleet, in Kent, under the plans, put forward by consortium the Thames Estuary Research and Development Company.

Lord Berkeley, who is hosting the presentation, said: “This scheme enables London to provide the most efficient and environmentally beneficial airport in the world and will safeguard the UK’s position as a global destination for business, commerce and tourism.”

The consortium suggests Crossrail, a new rail line across London, could be extended to link its London terminals with Ebbsfleet, which would be the main hub.

The UK’s only existing highspeed rail line runs through Ebbsfleet to Europe and the developers suggest new highspeed lines could link the airport with Ebbsfleet and London.

A new logistics park would be built at Sheerness, in Kent.

As no homes are nearby, Thames Estuary Research claims flights could continue round-the-clock without causing disturbance.

The new hub airport would replace Heathrow, which could be redeveloped as housing for 300,000 people.

The consortium includes international architecture firm Gesler, which has already suggested a four-runway floating airport out to sea in the middle of the estuary. It has said the new plan is even better.

Managing director Ian Mulcahey said: “In many respects, this is the most ambitious of all the airport proposals, the least contentious, the easiest and the most cost-effective solution.

“Our professional team have spent many months identifying the optimum location for the new airport. Unlike the historic Maplin Sands site and the Isle of Grain, we have settled on a location that avoids the sensitive land adjacent to the estuary and instead will create a new island.”