British Chambers of Commerce Director General checks in at London Stansted
London Stansted today welcomed the British Chambers of Commerce Director General, Dr Adam Marshall, for a visit to the new Stansted Airport College and check progress on the airport’s £600 million investment programme.
Dr Marshall also met with London Stansted CEO Ken O’Toole to discuss a wide range of key issues, including aviation strategy and making best use of existing runway capacity, the need to improve rail connections between London, Stansted and Cambridge and a review of long-haul Air Passenger Duty (APD).
Joined on the visit by Essex Chambers of Commerce CEO, Denise Rossiter and Director of Policy, David Birch, Dr Marshall was shown the latest design concepts for the airport’s new £130 million Arrivals Terminal, the centrepiece of the airport’s transformation programme, and saw first-hand the facilities and courses on offer to students at the first on-site college of its kind at any major UK airport.
I am delighted Dr Marshall and colleagues from the Essex Chambers of Commerce were able to join us to see how we are leading the way in creating a supply line of talent within the aviation sector and delivering the biggest investment project at the airport since it opened in 1991.
Our unique partnership with Harlow College is not only critical in supporting our ambitious growth plans and helping bridge the skills gap in STEM subjects but it will also create a lasting legacy for the communities that surround the airport through the wide range of training and educational opportunities available to young people for generations to come.
This initiative coupled with the progress we are making with our multi-million-pound investment project to transform the airport are great examples of our commitment and focus on developing fantastic new facilities and the next generation of employees, and will help ensure Stansted plays a vital role in making the East of England one of the best places in the world to live, work and do business.
Stansted is forecast to deliver up to 50 per cent of London’s expected passenger growth over the next decade and make a greater contribution to improving the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world. While we are focused on doing all we can to achieve success and maximise this opportunity, we can’t do it in isolation.
We need specific strategies and actions from the Government to support making best use of existing capacity in addition to swift action in other areas including delivery of short-term improvements in the quality of rail connections between London, Stansted and Cambridge, and a fundamental review of long-haul APD and investment to reduce queue times at the Border.
Chamber businesses across the UK recognise the value and economic vitality that our airports and their suppliers and customers bring to our communities. Stansted Airport is no exception, and it was brilliant to see the airport’s deep commitment to developing talent and future careers in the buzzing new Stansted Airport College.
Airports like Stansted are crucial to the UK’s future trade prospects. Growth and expansion plans at Stansted and a range of other key gateways around the UK will deliver great local jobs, more connections for businesses and consumers, and more contracting opportunities for companies of all sizes. It’s also crucial that government work with us in business to get the rail and road connections to our airports right for the future.
Manchester Airports Group is a major patron of the Chamber and I was delighted to see what they and Harlow College have achieved with the Airport College. Aviation is important to the economy of not just Essex but the wider South East and it was really encouraging to see the enthusiasm displayed by the students for potential careers at the airport and its related businesses.
The airport has ambitious plans with its transformation programme which we fully support, and the young students will be an integral part of that - we wish the airport and the students every success for the future.