Airport voices radar fears over Tulip skyscraper
London City Airport has raised concerns that a 305m tower dubbed ‘The Tulip’, plans for which were unveiled by Foster + Partners earlier this month, may interfere with its radar systems.
Developer Safra Group hopes to open the Tulip as a visitor attraction, offering skybridges, internal slides, an education facility at the top, and gondola pods that move up and down the top of the tower. The building would be the tallest in the City of London, and would by just shy of London’s tallest, the Shard, at 310m.
However, in a response to a City of London consultation over the plans, representatives from London City Airport, which sits around six miles to the east, demanded that now construction work take place until checks had been carried out to ensure that the gondola pods did not interfere with radar coverage.
In a letter, the airport’s technical operations coordinator Jack Berends said: “Construction shall not commence until an assessment has been carried out on the impact of this development on the radar coverage.
“During this assessment it should be noted that the gondolas present will be moving and therefore may have a slightly different effect than a static element of the building. This needs to be authorised by the local planning authority having consulted with London City Airport and NATS En Route Limited.”
Subject to the planning approval process, construction on The Tulip could begin in 2020 with completion projected for 2025.