PDA

View Full Version : Thames Estuary (Boris Island) Airport



Richard Flagg
01-01-2010, 12:50
Taken from Sky News
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Thames-Estuary-Airport-Would-Be-Ecological-Disaster-Say-Environmentalists/Article/200912415510625?lpos=UK_News_First_Home_Article_Te aser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15510625_Thames_Estuary%3A_Airport_Wou ld_Be_Ecological_Disaster_Say_Environmentalists


Thames Airport 'Would Be Ecological Disaster'
12:16pm UK, Wednesday December 30, 2009
Laura Bundock, Sky News reporter

Environmental campaigners have hit out at proposals for a new 24-hour international airport in the Thames Estuary.


Thames Airport 'Would Be Ecological Disaster'

12:16pm UK, Wednesday December 30, 2009

Laura Bundock, Sky News reporter
Environmental campaigners have hit out at proposals for a new 24-hour international airport in the Thames Estuary.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has commissioned a second study into the idea, to determine whether it would work.

An initial report claimed the 40bn project would be expensive and difficult - but ultimately feasible.

But environmentalists claim it would kill off wildlife along the Kent and Essex coast, part of which is internationally recognised.

Andre Farrar, from the RSPB, says the idea of an airport would be an ecological disaster.

"Half a million birds depend on this site over the course of a year," he told Sky News.

"A giant structure like an airport would destroy the mud flats and sands they depend on.

"It would be damaging not just for the UK, but for international bird conservation."

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/ALL%20OTHER%20PHOTOS/AiX%20miscellaneous/15510620.jpg
Half a million birds depend on the mud flats of the Thames Estuary

There is no denying, though, that the capital's airports are almost running to capacity which is why many now believe runways on the water might be the solution.

The exact location of the island airport is still to be decided, but it would hold up to six runways, with high-speed train links to the mainland.

The team behind the latest study is keen to explore all aspects of the project, including how it could help the local economy and infrastructure.

Bridget Rosewell, from the Thames Estuary Research and Development Company, said: "The real issue for me is how best we can use an asset like the Thames Estuary.

"I'm not saying the airport is a good idea, I'm just trying to make sure the work is carried out so we can properly answer that question."

But even before the study is concluded, local campaigners have started to fight the plans.

Councillor Rodney Chambers, from Medway Council, said: "We successfully fought off a similar scheme at Cliffe in Kent a few years ago.

"Back then the airlines told us it would be too far out of London, so why on earth would any passenger want to land even further from the capital?"

The study is due to report back in the summer of 2010.

Peter Kirk
01-01-2010, 18:25
WARNING : RANT APPROACHING

The recent road widenings on the A2 have been attributed to the possible airport.
The proposed Cliffe Airport had a major flaw and that was the very high possibility of bird strikes, similar to the Foulness proposal in the 70s.

The other major flaw is that it will increase traffic on the M25 and we all want that!!!!

Transport links are fine but they usually dump you somewhere that requires further links. Our new Javelin service is a prime example - fast commuter service into London, to either Stratford or St Pancras.
Stratford requires a tube ride on the already overcrowded Central Line and St Pancras also requires a tube link or two for most people.

Too many times you see brochure for new housing scheme in London saying easy access for the tube. When you get there you find the bloody things are crammed full and you have to let at least four trains go before you get to the front of the platform.

Any new airport will need a complete set of NEW transport services not just short lengths to connect to existing roads or rail. Or to put it another way someone with a brain to think it through.

Another aspect is what will happen to Biggin Hill, North Weald, Stapleford and Southend? They might be affected by new ATC zones?

Peter Kirk
02-01-2010, 22:42
Air travel as we know it has got around twenty five years to run, depending on who you believe. In about fifteen years it will be too expensive for the average person and once again becomes a rich mans toy until fuel becomes too expensive even for them.

I too think it will never happen, planning takes twenty five years. It took over thirty year to finally complete the M25! (originally envisaged in 1943!).

My main beef is lack of joined up/long term sensible planning that is not politically motivated. The M25, when completed, was already 10 years out of date. Dartford tunnel(s) is another one.

They improved the roads to Manston (KIA) and it is actually easier for me to get there than Heathrow!

mawganmad
19-01-2012, 10:48
I thought that it might be worth starting a thread on this new major UK airport proposal sited in the Thames estuary just of the Islle of Grain, Kent.

At the moment it is a controversial plan and in some quarters a bit of a joke, ie the Boris Johnson name, it has much going for it as a completely new build airport, coupled with the fact that Heathrow has always been 'up against it' since it was first planned. However there are some serious financial and environmental concerns.

We have here though a unique oppurtunity to record the ups and downs of an airfield proposal and possible construction.

Here's two online reports to get us started,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2088376/New-London-airport-Thames-Estuary-favoured-Government-says-Boris-Johnson.html
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/new-london-airport-proposed-to-address-heathrow-congestion-woes-364246/

All information regarding the propoasl, and any personal thoughts on it are welcome.

Peter Kirk
19-01-2012, 13:30
Without reading all the bumph and as a Kent resident my thoughts are as follows :-

1. Heathrow is stuck in a poor area for the significant expansion required. Not only runways but more importantly road and rail links which will no doubt involve the destruction of many homes to be of any use.
2. The other airports seem to be blocked from expansion so no room there.
3. New airports and indeed expansion will have an environmental impact wherever they are built.
4. A new site is almost inevitable and will probably be required to be sited away from habitation but where!
5. I can't help feeling that the wimps who messed up the third London Airport proposalls decades ago have left us with this mess.
6. I don't know if Kent is the best location or not but it will provide thousands of jobs. The Isle of Grain is partly a brownfield site so as far as affecting people directly goes it will be less than inland sites.
7. I don't have sufficient knowledge of the land requirements for such a large project to offer any alternatives and have to rely on the experts. Howver I suspect some of the more logical aspects are being ignored due to political and financial pressures.
8. This should have been number one - We have to assume that there is a real requirement and that air travel in its current form will still be viable by the time this project (wherever it is) is completed (in 2080 :) ).

canberra
19-01-2012, 18:38
It would alsom mean the end of Stansted. One problem with this site is the location, much as people mock Heath Row look how easy it is to get there by car from say Bristol or Birmingham. Try getting to Boris Island or as Im going to call it from now on Fantasy Island from places such as Bristol and Brum and it wont be so easy. Someone mentioned about the decision on the third runway being ballsed up, it certainly was. But it was the NIMBYs, the people that tend to vote conservative that stopped Foulness and the other sites. They like to fly but they dont want an airport on their doorstep, and be honest would you???

And a final point. The artists impressions seem to show north-south runways, in a country where the wind is mainly from the west????

Paul Francis
19-01-2012, 19:52
I kind of agree with both Canberra and Denis, if its going to be in the Thames Estuary, then for most its going to be a pig to get to, whereas on the route of HS2 and somewhere central like Bucks and possibly in the Chilterns might just do it for me - something to think about. But the whole point of HS2 is that its non-stop from Birmingham, so that needs a re-think. I am sure we have the original HMSO docs on Wing and other locations for the third london airport in the archives - shall have to dig them out.

Richard Drew
19-01-2012, 21:44
Why not Boscombe Down, it has its own direct rail link to the main line and will only need relaying and a few bridges, going through a very unpopulated area and Solstice park would be allowed to fill out and that means MacDonald's will get a few more customers. Upgrade the A303 to the M303 as well. A perfect choice direct rail & road links to the capitol. As for the rest of the country - do we really care about them.
Richard

Peter Kirk
19-01-2012, 21:44
There was talk of two airports fairly close together linked by a dedicated road and rail link and the idea was that one site handled longer distance and the other short haul and feeder flights. Sort of makes sense but it still begs the question of where.

Cue list of recently closed RAF airfields not too far from each other :)

mawganmad
19-01-2012, 22:24
Forget the idea of using old existing RAF stations or other aerodromes, history has shown that it isn't a great idea for a modern developing airport, a modern airport is much more than just a suitably long runway. Heathrow has constantly had development problems from the start.

I actually do like this new 'island airfield' proposal, it's really time to start a new major airport from scratch in this country, we lag well behind other developed nations in this regard and all our majors are built on old wartime airfields. The location seems fine to me, with the proviso that suitable new motorways (avoiding M25) and rail links serve it. it appears that it is designed to be linked from Essex and Kent, so south and north should be catered for.
I can't wait for Heathrow to become Hounslow Municple aerodrome, or Great West again!

Richard Drew
20-01-2012, 11:41
What about a ship full of WW2 ammunition, has that been factored in??????

Peter Kirk
20-01-2012, 13:33
What about a ship full of WW2 ammunition, has that been factored in??????

Good point! Maybe it will suddenly go up and clear an area fit for an airport :)

Chris Lowe
20-01-2012, 13:41
Perhaps PTE can enlighten us as to how a bang may be possible if the Richard Montgomery does go up, Boris certainly wouldn't have to worry about that rare wildlife anymore.

Dr_Bishop
20-01-2012, 15:50
The full story (one of many) can be found here:

http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/images/swalemontgomery.htm

Extract:

In 1944 the Richard Montgomery, a vessel some 440 feet long and weighing 7,176 tons, manned with a crew of 50, plus 30 gunners, sailed from Philadelphia with a cargo of 6000 (six thousand) tons of munitions for the US Air Force. This cargo included;

13,064 general purpose 250lb bombs
9,022 cases of fragmenting bombs
7,739 semi-armour piercing bombs
1,522 cases of fuses
1,429 cases of phosphorous bombs
1,427 cases of 100lb demolition bombs
817 cases of small arms ammunition

BUT:

Estimates vary as to the exact amount of explosives left on board and scattered across the sea bed. No exact records were kept during the war time salvage operation. It is thought that around half her cargo still remains, perhaps from 1,200 tons to 3,000 tons of munitions containing TNT which does not deteriorate in sea water.

Is it likely to explode?
Is it still dangerous?
Is it likely to become less dangerous or more unstable as time passes?

Again opinions vary. The truth is, "we simply don't know".

Should it explode, some say, it will be the worlds biggest non-nuclear explosion. Sheerness would cease to exist, every building flattened by the explosion and the following tidal waves.

Aeronut
20-01-2012, 16:09
Any resulting tidal wave funneling its way up the River Thames could be devastaing as it would get taller as the river narrows. The thames barrier would be useless.

Peter Kirk
20-01-2012, 21:10
I get the impression some of the scenarios have been exaggerrated by those wishing to scare people, for whatever motive. I think the line in Dr_Bishop's post "we simply don't know" is probably accurate. There are many factors that affect any explosion and without expert knowledge I would guess the following would have a bearing on the result at time of detonation :-

1. Ebb and flow of tide.
2. Depth of water
3. Nature of the estuary bed
4. Wind strength and direction
5. Likelihood of chain reaction under water
6. Air pressure.
7. Precipitation/mist/fog

Ranger 1
21-01-2012, 00:54
A major part of my job is the responsibility for Bird Hazard Control at BRS, in my honest & qualified opinon the proposed Boris Island scheme goes against proven science & ecology it will be impossible to manage bird hazard at this site, obviously no one has learnt from the recent lessons with the Hudson river incident involving Canada geese & other fatal birdstrike incidents with wader type species that thrive in this habiat. :cry:

avion ancien
27-01-2012, 13:06
Might I suggest that the new London Airport be located in the Pas de Calais? It's got excellent rail and road links to London. I suspect that, in this location, it is likely to get built far sooner than anywhere on the UK mainland and, no doubt, the idea would appeal to all the British NIMBYs!

avion ancien
27-01-2012, 14:29
I suspect Ryanair will be the first airline to use it too!!!!!!

You know, building London Paris/Paris London Airport in the Pas de Calais could represent the future of air travel! Ryanair could advertise a service between London and Paris that doesn't require the use of an aircraft. You take the Eurostar from St. Pancras to London Paris Airport and go into the departures hall. From there you go direct to the arrivals hall and, on leaving, take the TGV from Paris London Airport to Gare du Nord. Ryanair charge a fare 10 each way - plus, of course, the extra charge for luggage, insurance, using a payment card, etc.. Result - c. 50 clear profit for every leg of the journey!

John Anderson
22-06-2012, 20:07
One thing I have not seen mentioned in the media is the absolutely devastating effect that a Heathrow closure would have on the economies of West London, Surrey, Bucks, Berks. etc. Where would those in the area who are in airport related employment work if a Thames Estuary site was developed and if they moved out what would be left behind? Shades of the coal mining and steel industries of the north.

avion ancien
31-08-2012, 18:33
With the issue still raging - an extra runway at Heathrow or build a new London airport on Boris Island or whatever - I thought that it may interest - maybe even amuse - some to see a small illustration, which appeared in a French aviation journal in 1934, of one of the ideas in circulation at that time. Now if, today, one extrapolates from that and bearing in mind that modern aircraft will need longer runways than their brethren of some eighty years ago, surely the answer is staring us in the face. Close Heathrow, abandon all idea of Boris Island and just demolish the Houses of Parliament, and all the surrounding ancilliary buildings, and create London's new airport in Westminster!!!

MikeO
31-08-2012, 20:54
Guys,

These days the airline business works around major hubs where traffic from a large number of spokes can be consolidated to fill aircraft to a number of destinations. Think Emirates, think Fedex.

Paris and Amsterdam have hubs with enormous room for expansion. And by consolidating traffic at those hubs, they can afford to run long haul flights to many more destinations than would be economic given just local demand. Think what air trafffic to India, SE Asia and China will be like a decade from now.

The Boris Island concept is an absudity. Worse than that, its a dangerous distraction. Successsive governments have been funking the issue of what to do about London airports for years and years. There have been suggestions of Cliffe, Wing and even Greenham Common, (the latter a more commercial idea than most!)

I seem to recall a competition in one of the aviation magazines, 50 years ago, that came up with the suggestion of a third Heathrow runway to the north of the A4.

Now there's a novel idea!

Peter Kirk
01-09-2012, 20:33
The main problem with Heathrow is being able to shovel all the people in and out every day. A visit to TNA at Kew gives you an idea of how many aircraft go in very hour. Extra capacity means more transport infra-structure and where is that going to fit in? I have only been to Heathrow twice, picking up and dropping off. Getting to Birmingham only takes ten miutes longer from Kent and we were worried about getting a parking ticket on the M25 :)

John Anderson
02-09-2012, 10:18
Guys,

These days the airline business works around major hubs where traffic from a large number of spokes can be consolidated to fill aircraft to a number of destinations. Think Emirates, think Fedex.

Paris and Amsterdam have hubs with enormous room for expansion. And by consolidating traffic at those hubs, they can afford to run long haul flights to many more destinations than would be economic given just local demand. Think what air trafffic to India, SE Asia and China will be like a decade from now.

The Boris Island concept is an absudity. Worse than that, its a dangerous distraction. Successsive governments have been funking the issue of what to do about London airports for years and years. There have been suggestions of Cliffe, Wing and even Greenham Common, (the latter a more commercial idea than most!)

I seem to recall a competition in one of the aviation magazines, 50 years ago, that came up with the suggestion of a third Heathrow runway to the north of the A4.

Now there's a novel idea!

Completely agree. In the 1980's KLM served more UK domestic destinations from AMS than BA did from LHR and LGW. BA got really paranoid at the time about the loss of passengers/revenue. Incidentally there was a third runway at LHR used rarely when cross winds prevented use of the main runways. I landed on it in 1979 in a BA (ex BEA) Tristar direct from Dhahran with not much fuel on board-the Southall gasometer looked rather close!

Daveg4otu
02-09-2012, 17:37
Completely agree. In the 1980's KLM served more UK domestic destinations from AMS than BA did from LHR and LGW. BA got really paranoid at the time about the loss of passengers/revenue. Incidentally there was a third runway at LHR used rarely when cross winds prevented use of the main runways. I landed on it in 1979 in a BA (ex BEA) Tristar direct from Dhahran with not much fuel on board-the Southall gasometer looked rather close!

Heathrow as originally envisaged and buiilt built had 6 runways ...3 parallel pairs in a StarofDavid configuration. Whether all six ever saw actual use is something I don't know.

There is a 1950s image at the link ... .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_photograph_of_Heathrow_Airport,_1955.j pg

As a small spotter there in the very early 50s I can't remember there being much use of any other than the E-W pair(27/09 back then would have been 28/10 IIRC) and 23L .15R/33L was replaced early on with a new seventh RW about 800 yds west to allow expansion of the central area...you can see this in the image.

John Anderson
02-09-2012, 21:49
The cross runway was where BOAC Boeing B707-436 landed on 8 April 1868 following an engine failure on take off. There were several fatalities including BOAC flight stewardess Barbara...who was posthumously awarded the George Cross. The remains of GARWE were parked in the BOAC maintenance area for some months after the accident, which were thought provoking for someone new to the airline business.

MikeO
02-09-2012, 21:50
I have once landed on the NE/SW runway John describes. I fancy it was in a Viscount on a very windy day. Also I am pretty sure that many years ago I have seen aircraft landing on the parallel runway to the west of that, but as John says these were pretty rare occasions. Whether the NW/SE pair were ever used in anger in the last 60 years I hae me doots.

AiXAdmin
05-09-2012, 12:22
You couldn`t make this stuff up.. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ryanair-boss-flies-off-the-handle-over-idiot-critic-8104958.html
Another good reason for smart people to steer clear of posting things on FB etc?

Re airport capacity in the SE... it's times like this we could do with a good old fashioned dictator to get things done one way or another. Democracy is bad for business?

avion ancien
05-09-2012, 13:21
.....and when Stansted become RyanAiro'drome, builds three new runways on its newly acquired land bounded by the M11, A120, B184 and B1051 and Mr O'Beery calls for all other airports in the south-east to be closed because they are placed in environmentally inappropriate areas and there's no need for them as RyanAiro'drome can satisfy all air passenger requirements. Now do I remember the Administrator saying something about a dictator?

Richard Flagg
22-11-2012, 22:40
Received today from Robin J Brooks

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb198/Flyer719/KENT/Thames%20Estuary/Untitled1.jpg