At the same time, Foster + Partners, the architecture firm most keenly promoting their vision for an airport on the Isle of Grain, have submitted a response to a damning report published last month by the Commission, which suggested the Estuary proposal would struggle to overcome the environmental, financial, and engineering obstacles it would face.
A blog by MP Adam Afriye, on the Huffington Post, defends the proposal, while alluding to rumours that Sir Howard Davies will soon rule the Estuary proposal out of consideration.
The earlier report suggested the environmental impact of an Isle of Grain airport could cost up to £2bn to remediate.
Foster + Partners’ response to the Airports Commission’s feasibility studies, says that the evidence presented in the four reports -rather than completely damning the proposal as unrealistic – “makes a clear and compelling case that a new hub airport in the Inner Thames Estuary is both credible, deliverable and has no identifiable showstoppers, and should therefore be added to the Commission’s shortlist”.
They counter the Commission’s reports on environmental impact, surface access costs, socio-economic issues and operational viability mostly arguing that more work needs to be done, and maintaining that the option should not yet be ruled out.
Sir Howard is expected to announce in September whether the Estuary option is still on the table, or whether his Commission will instead choose between expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick.