One of Britain's most famous modern warships might be rescued from the scrap heap to serve as a floating helicopter base. HMS Ark Royal was recently axed by defence cuts. But new plans suggest it could still play a useful role in London, stationed at Royal Docks near City Airport.
The £100 million plan would convert the aircraft carrier into a helicopter base, which could be used to quickly ferry those with plutonium credit cards from central London to the airports. The ship could also serve as a base for air ambulances and police helicopters at the 2012 games.
As an additional benefit, the scheme would also provide a domestic role for 150 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, who would live and work on the ship. The MoD are now weighing up the idea.
However, the heliport would need to consult carefully with local residents, many of whom are already bitter about noise levels from City Aiport, which recently got the go-ahead to increase flights by 50%.
Press reports do not say much about where the idea comes from, citing only 'Paul Beaver, director of the firm behind the bid'. (Presumably the same Paul Beaver who wrote this book.)