Over the summer, the UK's Airport Commission, invited proposals from interested parties on how the UK might expand its airport capacity in south-east England. Proposals were submitted by architects, engineers, airport operators and private individuals offering long term solutions. Of these, two bold ideas have been put forward which showcase the latest trends in aviation.
Drive through airport (DTA) design
This new concept, from Buro for Mehr, promises to change the way airports process traffic by making aircraft "drive through" the terminals, in special pathways under the passenger areas. Gates are replaced by pit stops which split into three phases – de-boarding, servicing and boarding, which in turn helps improve capacity, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.
Exhaustless Takeoff System (ExTS)
Exhaustless proposes to make plane take-offs quieter, quicker and cheaper, using their Exhaustless Takeoff System (ExTS). The system uses power from the electric grid to launch aircraft instead of using engine power. It means less jet fuel burned, noise generated and would only require about half the length and one-fifth the width of a traditional runway.
The Airports Commission will publish a shortlist of the most credible long term options in December 2013.