Stansted Airport proposes to increase its annual passenger cap by almost 10 million people

PUBLISHED: 15:31 07 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:03 07 June 2017

Aerial shot of Stansted Airport. Picture: MARK DAVISON/STANSTED AIRPORT

Aerial shot of Stansted Airport. Picture: MARK DAVISON/STANSTED AIRPORT

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Stansted Airport could increase its passenger cap by almost an extra 10million people under new expansion plans.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICKAndrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

In a scoping document sent to Uttlesford District Council on June 1, the airport has proposed to amend the existing passenger cap of 35million a year to 44.5million, as well as to increase aircraft movements from 274,000 per annum to 285,000.

If it goes ahead, this would see an extra 11,000 flights a year from Stansted.

The document is a precursor to a formal planning application, which will contain plans for further airfield infrastructure including two new links to the runway, six additional stands, and three more at the north eastern end of the airport.

Andrew Cowan, Stansted Airport’s CEO, said: “By lifting the current caps, Stansted will be able to serve around 44million passengers a year on its existing runway by 2030.

“Making use of Stansted’s spare capacity will benefit not only dynamic and fast growing east of England region, but also London and the UK as a whole – supporting the creation of thousands of new jobs and billions of pounds in additional economic activity.”

Members of Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign (SSE), however, say they will fight the latest proposal.

Martin Peachey, SSE noise advisor, said: “The group is fundamentally against it and we are having a meeting on Tuesday to hammer it out.”

He added: “It’s a difficult judgement [about whether it will be successful]. We managed to defeat the second runway and that’s out of the window for a long time. This one will be a harder battle because it [the airport] can allow for up to 44.5million to use it.”

He also said that because the airport is currently only serving 24million passengers a year that the plans are “premature”, and will also have an impact on noise and air quality.

Mr Cowan, however, said the airport understands that growth is a “sensitive and important issue” for people living near to airport, and that they are committed to “engaging, listening and sharing” as much information as they can as they go forward.

The scoping document also said that, despite a proposed increase of aircraft, planes are becoming quieter.

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