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.
The gateway has developed the proposal in consultation with local communities and said it is “committed to remain within current approved limits on aircraft noise and flight numbers”.
Stansted said the application seeks permission to make best use of the airport’s existing single runway over the next decade delivering “significant” economic benefits to the UK and East of England, while improving passenger choice and convenience and boost international long-haul routes to markets like China, India and the US.
Airport chiefs said the application will also “ease pressure” on the London airport system by unlocking additional capacity at a time when other airports are capacity-stretched.
In the five years since MAG acquired Stansted, annual passenger numbers have increased by nearly 10 million to 26mppa. This growth has been delivered through a 25 per cent increase in destinations served by the airport to 190 and a doubling of the number of airlines using the airport to 22.
During 2018, Stansted will see expansion of its long-haul route network with services being added by Primera Air to New York, Boston, Toronto, Washington DC and Emirates to Dubai.
The airport anticipates reaching its current cap of 35mppa by the early 2020s and wants to build on its growth and provide “long-term clarity” to airlines wanting to use its facilities.
MAG has invested heavily in the facilities, and work has began on the second phase of Stansted’s transformation – a five-year, £600 million construction programme that will see a new arrivals building and conversion of the existing terminal into a dedicated departing passenger-only facility.
Stansted chief executive officer, Ken O’Toole said the airport expects to reach the current limit on passenger numbers in the early 2020s.
He added recent routes added are a “clear statement of what the airport can achieve” and it is talking to a range of airlines that are looking to grow their operations at Stansted.
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.
London Stansted is the third largest in London (4th in UK) serving 26 million passengers a year.