London Stansted has submitted a planning application to Uttlesford District Council to raise the current cap on the number of passengers it is permitted to serve from 35 million passengers per annum (mppa) to 43mppa.
The application seeks permission to make best use of the airport’s existing single runway over the next decade, while delivering economic benefits to the East of England region and creating 5000 jobs.
The plans aim to improve passenger choice and convenience and boost international long-haul routes to fast-growing markets like China, India and the US. The application will also ease pressure on the London airport system by unlocking additional capacity at a time when other airports are full.
In the five years since MAG acquired Stansted, annual passenger numbers have increased by nearly 10 million to 26mppa. This growth has been delivered through a 25% increase in destinations served by the airport (190) and a doubling of the number of airlines using the airport (22). Stansted is the best-connected UK airport for flights to Europe and during 2018 will see a rapid expansion of its long-haul route network with services being added to New York, Boston, Toronto, Washington DC and Dubai and the 150 onward destinations it offers.
Stansted now anticipates reaching its current cap of 35mppa by the early 2020s and in order for the airport to build on its momentum and provide long term clarity to airlines wanting to use its facilities, now is the right time to consider the framework for its growth beyond the current limit.
MAG has also invested heavily in the facilities at Stansted Airport, spending £150m on improving the passenger experience. Recently, work began on the second phase of Stansted’s transformation - a five-year, £600 million construction programme that will see a new arrivals building and conversion of the existing terminal into a dedicated departing passenger-only facility.
Ken O’Toole, CEO of London Stansted Airport, said: “Today, London Stansted Airport is virtually unrecognisable from the one which MAG acquired almost five years ago to the day. During this time, we have spent £150m on upgrading the terminal, added nearly 10 million passengers, more than doubled the number of airlines and developed a short-haul route network which is the best in Europe.
“It is vital for the region that Stansted is able to build on its momentum and the long-term proposals that we have outlined today will enable us to do this and more importantly, provide the local community with confidence that future growth can be delivered in a measured and sustainable way.”
Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “Essex's economy is still growing and we know businesses are looking to trade more overseas, which will be especially important as we leave the EU. Stansted is a jewel in the County’s crown with plenty of potential to serve new global destinations and we should be looking to make full and efficient use of its runway."
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