Stansted Moves to Raise Passenger Cap

(Image: MAG)
(Image: MAG)

London Stansted Airport 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, while committing to remain within current approved limits on aircraft noise and flight numbers.  The airport says the application has been shaped by an extensive consultation between the airport and local communities.

The application seeks permission to make best use of the airport’s existing single runway over the next decade, a move which the airport says will deliver significant economic benefits to the UK and the East of England region, create 5,000 new on-site jobs, improve passenger choice and convenience and boost international long-haul routes to fast-growing markets like China, India and the US.

As a Government decision about Heathrow’s proposed third runway could be imminent, Stansted also points out its application will also ease pressure on the London airport system by unlocking additional capacity at a time when other airports are full.

The document also puts forward how the ongoing introduction of the next generation of quieter aircraft can allow Stansted to achieve future passenger growth without increasing the number of flights or noise footprint already permitted.

The application will also seek permission for additional airfield infrastructure within the current airfield boundary, comprising two new links to the runway, six additional stands on the mid airfield and three additional stands at the north eastern end of the airport.

The airport says it anticipates reaching its current cap of 35mppa by the early 2020s and 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.

Ken O’Toole, CEO of London Stansted Airport, commented: “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.

“Looking to the future, demand at Stansted is predicted to remain strong and with constraints on runway capacity in the South-East increasing, we are expecting to reach our current limit on passenger numbers in the early 2020s.  We are now at the point where it is right to consider the framework for the airport’s growth beyond the current limit.”