09/13/2012 08:39 am ET

London Airport: Proposal For Floating Thames Estuary Airport Unveiled (VIDEO)

Proposals have been unveiled for London's new London Britannia Airport and involve four floating runways tethered to the sea bed, reports BBC News.

This floating airport is designed by architects Gensler, and would allow for expansion up to six runways.

"The airport can be quickly manufactured in the ship yards and steel works across the UK and can be floated by sea and positioned in the Estuary," project director Ian Mulcahey told the BBC. "This isn't a London airport, it is a global airport, designed, manufactured and built in the UK."

According to the Daily Mail, the airport--nicknamed "Boris Island" for London's mayor--would be connected to London by high-speed rail. Passengers would check in and arrive at terminals on land, two to the north and south of the estuary and one in Central London between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park.

The airport's location in the estuary would also cut down on noise complaints, notes And, its location on water would allow for easy shifting of the runways in the event of, say, wind change.

As for the future of Heathrow, the Daily Mail posits that "the Gensler scheme would see Heathrow Airport close and become a new eco-city and 'the largest urban expansion project in Europe', with housing for around 300,000 people."

London is currently locked in a heated debate over whether or not to add a third runway to the already strained Heathrow Airport. In June, Prime Minister David Cameron refused to rule out the option of adding a runway. This month, a third runway consultation process was launched, allowing advocates to make their case.