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NEWS Last modified on February 17, 2012

Is this the face of the airport of the future?

A space-age London airport featuring hypersonic jets, vertical take-offs and a number of unique public transport elements has won top prize in an international competition to design the ‘airport of the future’.

A space-age London airport featuring hypersonic jets, vertical take-offs and a number of unique public transport elements has won top prize in an international competition to design the ‘airport of the future’.`

The winning design for LDN Delta Airport – a futuristic gateway built in the Thames Estuary – was conceived by architecture student Oliver Andrew from London’s Southbank University, and beat 200 other submissions from students around the world in the competition organised by Fentress Architects.`

The 2011 Fentress Global Challenge is an international competition for architecture and engineering students to present their visions for the Airport of the Future.

The judging panel narrowed the 200 entrants to just 16 finalists, and then down to the top three with two honourable mentions.
 

Speaking exclusively to Airport World, Fentress said Andrew was awarded the accolade for his design’s “creative approach, response to site, sustainability and functionality”.
 

The LDN Delta Airport has been designed as a number of prefabricated, mass-produced islands situated in the Thames Estuary, upstream from London.


 

The idea is that the airport would be free from the overcrowding of other airports as there would be no cars, runways, nor check-in desks, but will be served solely by public transport.
 

Meanwhile, without runways the airport would support vertical takeoff with hypersonic jets capable of flying at the edge of space.
 

The jets will “lift off” from purpose-built landing pads and use the tidal currents in the Thames Estuary to run on completely sustainable power.
 

Flight information will be sent to passengers on their mobile phones including departure times and their assigned gate.
 

G. Hardy Acree, airport director at Sacramento International Airport, and member of the judging panel, said: “This airport proposed two vital elements: unmanned aerial vehicle elements, since future aircraft will rely heavily on technology to control airline cost, and vertical takeoff and landing capability, which reduce the airport landmass footprint.”
 

Oliver Andrew will be awarded the top prize valued at $10,000, including $3,000 cash and a paid internship at Fentress Architects this summer.



 


Curtis Fentress, principal at Fentress Architects said: “This student’s approach captured the challenging elements necessary for a successful airport in the future, including multimodal transportation, conscientious design, and social considerations.”
 

Oliver Andrew said: “Taking part in this competition has been fantastic from the moment I read the brief to the moment I put pencil to paper.
 

“I spent many long nights sketching and thinking the concept through, in order to create something innovative and revolutionary in airport design.
 

“My concept goes beyond today’s airport design to propose a pioneering ecological solution for the future.”
 

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