Thames Hub airport proposal under consideration by UK govt

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A recent proposal by a group of architects to develop a £20 billion ($32 billion), four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary to solve London's capacity crisis is being mulled over by the UK government.

A spokesman for the UK Department for Transport said that "the concept of a Thames Estuary airport forms a useful contribution to the debate and will be considered alongside all other responses".

He added that the government plans to publish a draft aviation policy for consultation in the spring, and that "as part of our work on this we are seeking views on a wide range of key issues which need to be addressed".

The Thames Estuary airport, which was proposed earlier this month by architecture firm Foster & Partners, infrastructure consultants Halcrow and economists Volterra Partners, aims to provide capacity for 150 million passengers a year as part of an integrated transport solution for the UK as a whole.

However, the project has drawn criticism from those who believe the focus should be on increasing capacity at existing London airports.