An article in the Daily Mail Online reports that the decommissioned air craft carrier Arc Royal could be ‘saved’ and used as a helipad in London. The intended location turns out to be right next to London City Airport, in effect providing an instant additional runway to the controversial inner city airfield within the London borough of Newham.
Ark Royal could be saved from the scrapheap under plans to turn it into a heliport.
The Royal Navy aircraft carrier, axed in last October’s defence cuts and due to be decommissioned next month, could be based on the Thames by May 2012.
The 693ft vessel would be manned by around 150 former servicemen, for whom it would be both a home and a job, and would cater for City workers, police helicopters and London’s air ambulance.
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the head of the Navy, said the move could safeguard the future of the carrier, and the Ministry of Defence confirmed it was considering the plan.
Currently in Portsmouth, the ship would be moored in the Royal Docks near City Airport to comply with noise-pollution rules.
Photo: HMS Illustrious at Greenwich