Architectural practice Make have proposed a massive expansion of Stansted to answer the UK’s south east aviation capacity question, a strategy that would mean the likely closure of Heathrow.
Make, led by practice principal and former lieutenant to Norman Foster Ken Shuttleworth, suggest that adding three runways to Stansted combined with Crossrail 2 – a line from central London to the airport – would be the best solution. It would be cheaper, they argue, than Foster’s Thames Estuary proposal as it requires less infrastructure, and preferable, they say, to expansion at Heathrow.
Perhaps mischievously, they suggest the 1991 main terminal building at Heathrow, designed by Foster, could be repurposed as a train station.
They are clear within their proposal that Heathrow’s future would be as a much smaller airport, or more likely completely closed.
Heathrow is responsible for one in five West London jobs, so it’s closure would present some economic challenges for the sub-region.