Norman Foster hits out at Heathrow expansion

UK long-term needs cannot be met at LHR.

Norman Foster, the World’s top airport architect, says that Heathrow can never accommodate long-term needs.

The architect says that Heathrow will ‘never accommodate long-term needs’.

Mr Foster defended the sustainability of expanding the UK’s airport capacity while taking another swipe at plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

He defended his Thames Hub airport and other major infrastructure schemes.

In an interview in the Observer newspaper, Mr Foster launched a passionate defence of building mega infrastructure in the context of climate change, saying successful projects should be able to ‘anticipate the issues of future generations’.

There is huge support for Mr Foster’s plans for a Thames Hub, a major new airport in the Thames estuary with associated flood defence and high speed rail links.

This option has huge benefits

  • in that the airport can operate four runways
  • the airport can operate twenty four hours a day
  • a reduction of one million affected by air and noise pollution

Foster said:

‘The reality of a hub airport is that you can never ever do that at Heathrow. If you do that at Heathrow now you can absolutely guarantee that we will still be pedalling furiously to stand still. You can never accommodate long-term needs there.’

Asked about the wisdom of promoting air travel given its high carbon emissions, he said:

‘The reality is that all society is embedded in mobility. You’re going to take that flight. You’d be better to take the flight out of an airport that is driven by tidal power and which uses natural light, and which anticipates the day when air travel will be more sustainable.’

Debate with new Infrastructure Commissioner

Mr Foster will be speaking alongside chairman of theUK  government’s new infrastructure commission, Andrew Adonis (a huge Heathrow fan) on 26 November 2015 at the Urban Age global debate at the London School of Economics.

N.B. Image credit:

Internet links

Norman Foster