The managing director of Stansted Airport welcomed yesterday’s capacity report claiming the “future is bright” for the Essex facility.

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Although the Airports Commission discounted an extra runway at Stansted until beyond 2030, Andrew Harrison believes it still has an important role to play in the national transport picture.

“Stansted will play a crucial role in bridging the capacity gap, if it did not fulfil that role the capacity crunch that we expect in 2030 would come much sooner,” he said.

“Following that, Stansted will be at capacity and there will there’s no reason why it should not feature at the second stage.”

Mr Harrison has urged politicians and community leaders to look to the future and tell a “more complete story” about what the benefits of the east of England are.

“What’s important is that people think forward 15-20 years when the capacity will be used up,” he said.

“Where’s the next growth going to come from? How can we attract investment?

“There’s massive growth opportunities for the east of England, but that’s where it’s important for businesses to come together and think about what we are going to do in the future.”

Stansted Airport plans to invest £250million over the next five years, starting with an £80m project to improve terminal security, which Mr Harrison says will continue unaffected by yesterday’s announcement.

“It’s good news, the future is really bright, and we think we’ve got a really great story to tell,” he said.

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