London Stansted has today 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 to 43 million, while committing to remain within current approved limits on aircraft noise and flight numbers.
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 will deliver significant economic benefits to the UK and the vibrant East of England region, the airport said.
Under the planes, the expansion would 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.
The application will also ease pressure on the London airport system by unlocking additional capacity at a time when other airports are full.
Detailed analysis included in the planning application demonstrates how the ongoing introduction of the next generation of new quieter aircraft will ensure that future passenger growth can be achieved without increasing the number of flights or noise footprint already permitted.
For example, the new Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 neo aircraft currently being brought into service by Ryanair and easyJet are up to 50 per cent quieter than the aircraft they are replacing.
In the five years since MAG acquired Stansted, annual passenger numbers have increased by nearly ten million to 26 million per annum.
This growth has been delivered through a 25 per cent increase in destinations served by the airport (190) and a doubling of the number of airlines using the airport (22).
Stansted now anticipates reaching its current cap of 35 million passengers per annum 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.
Ken O’Toole, chief executive 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 £150 million on upgrading the terminal, added nearly ten 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.
“From day one, we have been guided by a belief that when our business prospers, the regions and communities in which we operate also prosper and I am proud of the fact that we have managed to deliver our growth in a phased way and worked hard to closely involve our local communities in this journey.
“Over the past six months we have consulted widely on our future growth plans and based on the feedback from these discussions, we’ve made sure our growth can be achieved within current limits on flight numbers and with no increase in the size of the airport’s noise footprint.”