The international airport, in Uttlesford, Essex, has ambitious plans for a five-year £600 million revamp of the airport, which will see a new terminal for arriving passengers and the conversion of the existing terminal into a dedicated departing passengers-only facility.
Based only 30 miles northeast of Central London, Stansted’s ultimate aim is to increase its passenger cap of 35mppa to 43mppa – in the process creating 5,000 new jobs.
Since Manchester Airport Group (MAG) acquired Stansted in 2013, it has increased passenger numbers by 40% to 26mppa.
By the early 2020s that figure is expected to rise to the current 35mppa limit, with a planning application going in to Uttlesford District Council in February 2018 to make further use of the airport’s existing capacity.
New, long-haul, destinations are being added on a regular basis, with Primera Air announcing new direct flights to New York, Boston and Toronto from April 2018 and Emirates launching a Stansted/Dubai service from summer 2018.
Stansted, at the heart of the London-Cambridge corridor, is crucial for the success of businesses in the East of England region – particularly so for the county of Essex.
INVEST Essex location services director, David Rooke, has seen the value of Stansted at close quarters, assisting a number of businesses to trade globally with help from an expanding airport in their midst.
“London Stansted is a critical economic asset for Essex and its increasing route network is a major attraction to international companies looking to invest and establish a presence in the region," he says.
"Companies have chosen Stansted because of links to serve their burgeoning European market, while growth and new business at Chesterford Research Park and Harlow Science Park will benefit significantly from new direct US links to the life science clusters centred on Boston and New York.”
The life sciences sector is heavily reliant on airport facilities, with the speed of air freight delivery crucial for ‘just-in-time’ and high-value goods such as pharmaceuticals.
Stansted is ideally placed to provide global connectivity to the world-leading research institutions and life sciences businesses located along the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor.
As a further example of Stansted’s growth plans, the first on-site education college of its kind at any major UK airport - the Stansted Airport College – is due to open later this year.
In partnership with Harlow College, and with backing from Essex County Council, Uttlesford District Council and the South East LEP, the facility will provide 500 student places and offer courses in aircraft and airport engineering, business studies, hospitality and customer service.
Stansted’s ‘Aerozone’ already welcomes 5,000 school children every year so the college will further cement its commitment to education.
Flakt Woods, the global air technology solutions provider with a base in Colchester, is one of many thriving local businesses to see the importance such plans could have for further growth.
Ian Morehouse, Flakt Woods' managing director, says: "London Stansted Airport is ideally placed to support businesses like ours which trade internationally.
"We would welcome more flight routes as we grow and compete in a global marketplace.”
UK Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, visited the airport on Friday to view its progress on the first phase of the airport’s £600 million investment programme.
The project is described as the centrepiece of a growth plan that will ensure that over the next decade the airport can play a critical role in improving global connectivity for London and the eastern region.
The Minister saw first-hand the successful transformation that has already taken place at Stansted in the five years under MAG ownership and was updated on how the airport is preparing for the imminent launches of Primera Air’s new services to the USA and Canada and Emirates flights to Dubai.
Divisional CEO of London Stansted Airport, Ken O’Toole, said: “Under MAG’s ownership, Stansted has been rejuvenated over the last five years, adding nearly 10 million passengers a year, more than doubling the number of airlines and expanding our route network to over 190 destinations.
“This is a clear reflection of the significant benefits that competition brings for passengers and airlines alike and into the future we hope to be granted permission to raise our planning cap and offer greater numbers of well-earned holidays and business trips, encouraging more inbound tourism and connecting local businesses to the global marketplace via the airport’s extensive cargo network.
“Over the next decade, runway capacity in the south-east will be at a premium and Stansted will be responsible for delivering 50% of London’s expected passenger growth andmake a greater contribution to improving the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world.”
For more information about INVEST Essex visit www.investessex.co.uk or follow them on Twitter (@investessex)