Learning to fly

London’s exuberant mayor, Boris Johnson, will be in the public eye this week as he attempts to explain why a new airport, based on a floating structure in the Thames Estuary and costing some £40bn, is a good idea. An initial feasibility study, carried out by Hong Kong island airport engineer Douglas Oakervee, is published this week and indicates that the project is ‘technically feasible’; Johnson has now reportedly appointed Sir David King, the former government chief scientist, to carry out a detailed study.


All eyes in the space industry will be on Cape Canaveral, where NASA is to roll out Ares I-X, the first test version of its new heavy-lift rocket, onto the launch pad ahead of its projected launch next week. A different form of launch vehicle will be under scrutiny at an international conference on space planes and hypersonic systems, to be held in Germany.


Back in the UK, the renewable energy industry will be meeting at the British Wind Energy Association’s annual conference, where speakers include environment secretary Ed Miliband and former deputy prime minister John Prescott.



Stuart Nathan
Special Projects Editor