Maritime consulting engineers Beckett Rankine has proposed a plan to build a £39bn offshore airport for London on the Goodwin Sands site, which is located 3km off the east coast of Kent.
Beckett Rankine director Tim Beckett said that an offshore hub airport is believed to be the only option that can realistically provide four new, independent runways.
"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," Beckett said.
Intended to assist in overcoming aviation capacity problems, the new airport will be capable of handling 150 million passengers a year.
London Aviation Adviser Mayor Daniel Moylan said: "We now urgently need to recognise that a new hub airport is the answer to our aviation capacity problems and press ahead with considering the best way to deliver that airport."
Offering a comfort space of 1.5km for the four runways, the Goodwin Sands site allows independent and unlimited 24-hour operations, including take-off and landing over water.
Owned by the Crown Estate, the proposed site also offers enhanced transport links with a high-speed rail connection through the existing HS1 line, while the A2 and M20 serve as road access.
An offshore airport is an alternative that crowded island nations have been opting for across the globe, according to the engineering firm.
South Korea’s new Incheon Airport, Japan’s Kansai Airport and the other in Hong Kong are currently serving as offshore airports.
Image: The new four-runway offshore airport project will be among proposals considered by the Davies Commission, which is due to report on airport policy in 2015. Photo: courtesy of Beckett Rankine.