Architects propose future airport expansion plans

Two London architects have followed in Foster + Partners’ footsteps to draw up speculative plans to expand the capital’s airports.

Make has proposed a four runway future for Stansted Airport, which would allow the hub to handle up to 150 million passengers per year.

Its vision proposes that Heathrow would remain open and a spokesman for Make added that the practice is working with engineers to “investigate the proposal in greater detail”.

Meanwhile, Weston Williamson has drawn up similar plans for Luton which it also believes could be turned into a four runway hub.

Rob Naybour, director at Weston Williamson, said: “We think the debate about the future of air transport in the UK needs to be broadened further than a nice diagram by Fosters and the pragmatism of expanding Heathrow.

“Luton is the the sensible location. Anyone coming from the North or Midlands can get there by car or the planned improved train links. We are currently working on Crossrail 2 and would advocate taking that into the heart of the Airport. If you programmed a computer to position the best place for a world class airport, it would choose Luton.”

The news comes as Deyjan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, backed Foster & Partners’ plans for a Thames Estuary airport.

Writing in The Times Sudjic warned that Britain has lost its appetite for “big ideas”.

“We do just enough to prevent the wheels from seizing up altogether, but not enough to deal effectively with long-term problems,” he said.

“It [the Thames Estuary airport] would immediately re-establish London and therefore Britain, as Europe’s main entrance, with all the symbolic and practical benefits that would bring.”