London Stansted Airport targets growth within current environmental and aircraft movement limits


Growth over the next decade can be accommodated within existing limits

No increase in the permitted number of aircraft movements

No increase in the permitted noise impacts

Proposals represent the best use of Stansted’s capacity over the next ten years

London Stansted Airport has set out revised proposals that show how its growth over the next decade can be achieved without increasing either the number of flights that are currently permitted to operate each year or the size of the airport’s approved noise ‘footprint’.

The revised proposals come after extensive consultation with local communities over the summer during which residents’ views were sought on plans to raise the cap on the number of passengers that can be served each year. An increase in the passenger cap is needed to enable the airport to make best use of its existing capacity.

Currently, around 26 million passengers use Stansted each year – an increase of nearly 10 million passengers compared with five years ago. Stansted’s growth potential is currently limited by a planning cap which would prevent the airport handling more than 35 million passengers per annum (mppa).

Following consultation, Stansted will now apply to raise the cap to 43mppa to enable it to meet forecast growth over the next decade. The revised proposal represents a smaller increase in passenger numbers than originally proposed (44.5mppa) and will enable growth to be met without increasing the number of aircraft movements that are currently permitted to operate each year.

The feedback we received from our neighbours during our extensive consultation was clear – that they support the ongoing growth and investment in the airport and welcome a further increase in destinations and choice.

Local residents also told us that they were concerned about the proposal to increase the number of flights that the airport is permitted to operate each year. We’ve listened to those concerns and decided to adapt our proposals so growth can be met within the current cap on the number of aircraft movements. 

That means the airport’s growth over the next ten years to serve 43 million passengers can be achieved without increasing the existing limits on aircraft movements and noise.  We think that this is good news for local residents.

This is an example of community consultation in action – we talked about our plans, we listened and we have amended our proposals accordingly.

These plans provide a good balance between ensuring our future growth, support for the region’s economy and addressing concerns around local environmental impacts. With clarity over the airport’s ability to grow, airlines and business partners will have the confidence to continue to invest and grow at Stansted.
London Stansted Airport CEO, Ken O’Toole

London Stansted Airport has advised Uttlesford District Council of these changes in relation to its future planning application. Prior to the submission of a final planning application in early 2018 the airport will organise further feedback sessions in November 2017.