The only long term answer to the question posed to the Airports Commission, "how do we maintain our global aviation hub status" is a brand new 4-runway 24 hour airport to the east of the capital, the Thames Hub. It is a bold, flexible, future-proof solution which neither Heathrow, nor Gatwick will ever achieve.
The expansion of London towards the east has now been reinforced with the approval of Ebbsfleet Garden City and moves toward a Lower Thames crossing – further validating the relocation of the airport to the Isle of Grain. The argument against the relocation of the bird habitat has been diminished with the success of the Wallasea wetland project further down the Estuary.
The Thames Hub airport will deliver the global connectivity that Londoners demand whilst bringing respite to all tormented by aircraft noise. Connecting the UK to new global destinations throughout the day and night, it can be built for a cost of £26 billion including upgraded road and rail services in just 7 years – the same time it will take for a new runway at Heathrow to be squeezed into a London borough. An integrated rail hub will connect services to Europe, London in just 30 minutes and the rest of the UK.
With our growing confidence in large scale infrastructure projects in the UK, now is the time to recast the debate within the larger interests of the country. Global trade demands newer, higher capacity transport infrastructure, and London cannot afford to be left behind, the credibility of a new Thames Hub airport has never been stronger.