Thames Reach Airport Consortium


context infrastructure access airport environment program

    modular AirRail hub airport

The airport (early proposal 2002) occupies a 11 square kilometre site on the Hoo Peninsular south of the Sea Reach and straddles the route of the Lower Thames Tunnel. One square kilometre of the site is reclaimed from the Blyth Sands tidal mudflats and the remaining area is raised on the marshes.

Spoil from the Lower Thames Tunnel and from the excavation to form the airport terminal box is used to raise the remaining airport site by some 6 metres above the existing marsh level. This prevents flooding and increases flight path clearances over the Thames shipping channel and over ground rising to the east. The balance of spoil requirements and final depth of the airport terminal box are calculated to minimise off-site spoil movements. The accommodation of the airport functions within the terminal box reduces the airport footprint and minimises the environmental impact beyond the airport perimeter.

The central interchange railway station has 6No. platforms; 2No. for the fast rail services to Waterloo and St. Pancras, 2No. for the Thames Gateway Shuttle Crossrail service and 2No. for the other regional rail connections. There are through lines for the rail freight services, with sidings as noted above.

The airside functions are arranged between the main runways, with runway-bridges between the terminals and hangars to minimise aircraft ground movements.

Access to the airport is provided only by tunnel in order to minimise the infrastructure impact on the surrounding environment.

The marsh perimeter is finished with a sectional concrete moat, “ha ha” and perimeter road to provide security without boundary fences, and to provide drainage.


early indicative phasing diagram (2002)

Key Airport objections

> Purpose built compact 24h Hub airport to suit airline alliances

> AirRail connectivity with European high speed train network

> Multi-level terminal arrangement to minimise travel distance

> Remote check-in and on-train check-in facilities

> Open plan architecture for comfort

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