Stansted Airport has announced its intention to submit a planning application for an extension to the existing terminal building.

If the scheme is approved it will see a three-bay extension to the back of the terminal, which aims to "transform the airport experience".

This will provide a more spacious departure lounge, including new shops, bars and restaurants, upgraded check-in equipment, increased baggage system capacity and an enlarged security hall with additional space for more security lanes, fitted with upgraded scanners.

The extension will enable the airport to improve its capacity at busy times and cater for more passengers in the years ahead.

Dunmow Broadcast: London Stansted's managing director Gareth PowellLondon Stansted's managing director Gareth Powell (Image: London Stansted)

London Stansted's managing director Gareth Powell said: "Our plan to invest in new facilities is great news for our customers, partners, and the region because it will provide additional terminal capacity and a better passenger experience for everyone travelling through London Stansted Airport. 

"We have used the last few years to conduct a thorough review of the options for the next phase of investment, and it’s clear that extending the terminal is the best way of delivering improved service and new capacity. 

"Our proposal will create a much more spacious and relaxing terminal environment providing space where and when it’s needed, and giving passengers even more choice when it comes to dining and shopping.

"It will also allow us to incorporate changes to security regulations, including the introduction of new security scanners, and the very latest check-in technology.

"All in all, we will be improving the airport experience throughout the entire passenger journey, from check-in on departure to immigration on arrival."

The airport was able to bounce back quickly after pandemic restrictions lifted, serving more than 26 million passengers in the last 12 months.

Stansted is expected to pass pre-pandemic passenger levels during the coming year, and is set for the busiest summer season on record.

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The expansion scheme follows extensive analysis of the options for increasing terminal capacity. The proposals aim to represent the most efficient and timely way to improve all elements of the passenger journey - while also providing the extra space required to accommodate forecast growth.

Gareth added: "The speed with which we’ve seen Stansted bounce back after the pandemic shows how important our airport is in the UK’s aviation system.

"The investment we plan to make will enhance facilities for all our airlines, from short-haul low-cost to long-haul full-service carriers, enabling us to continue playing an essential role serving passengers across London and the East of England and offering the best possible choice of destinations during this next phase of our development. 

"The terminal extension is an important part of our plans for making best use of Stansted’s existing capacity, which will also deliver 5,000 new jobs and see the airport’s economic contribution double to £2 billion annually, so this really is an exciting prospect for our passengers, airlines, colleagues and the economic success of region we serve."

Subject to approval, work is expected to being in summer 2024 and take up to three years to complete.