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Made in Brunel 2012: students unveil Thames Estuary airport plans

Students at Brunel University's annual Engineering and Design showcase will exhibit the most detailed designs ever made for a Thames Estuary airport hub.

With a formal government consultation on UK aviation on the horizon, air traffic capacity is currently a hot topic. A group of final year Design students at Brunel were inspired by the debate to create a detailed engineering and design masterplan for a new, sustainably designed airport to improve London's global transport connectivity.

Bedir Bekar, Marshel Weerakone, Adam Greenland, Baltej Sidhu and Volkan Yildirim will exhibit a physical architectural model of the international airport hub at the Made in Brunel show, held at The Bargehouse on London's South Bank from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 June 2012. Their extensive masterplan - the most detailed ever produced around this topic - takes construction methods, environmental impact mitigation and economic growth into account on an equal footing.

The students drew their inspiration from an initial study group, set up by the London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2008 to critique seven conceptual design ideas to tackle the UK’s aviation capacity problem.

Explaining the idea, Weerakone said: “London is the economic heart of the United Kingdom and a fulcrum of the global economy. However, with London airports operating at 99% capacity, the economy will suffer if the increasing demand for air travel is not met.

“We have produced a construction scheme for a working artificial island platform upon which airport infrastructure can be built - something which has been done effectively in other parts of the world such as in Hong Kong.

“The benefits of this plan, as opposed to the expansion of Heathrow Airport, are huge. Not only would it provide much needed employment and economic growth around the Kent and Essex area, but would make the most of the specialist engineering knowledge and intelligence within the UK. We believe this scheme would have a similar impact
to the Olympics in terms of benefits for the architectural and engineering industry.”

With the idea of a Thames estuary airport about to be taken to consultation, the five students hope that their plans will inform discussion and be used as a foundation for Government decision-making.

Notes to editors

To interview the student design team please contact Rebecca Griffiths at Communications Management on 01727 733885 or rebecca@communicationsmanagement.co.uk.

Journalists, photographers and television crews interested in attending Made in Brunel 2012 should contact Phil Smith on 01727 733388 or phil@communicationsmanagement.co.uk