London Stansted CEO outlines the vital role the airport will play in delivering future economic prosperity to London and UK PLC

London Stansted’s CEO, Ken O’Toole, will today set out how the airport will provide London with the international connectivity required to enable it to continue to grow and prosper over the next decade.

Speaking at the London First Infrastructure Summit 2018, Mr O’Toole will update the audience of 500 infrastructure industry experts on the £600m investment programme currently underway at London Stansted and how that investment will enable the airport to deliver as much as 50 per cent of London’s total expected passenger growth over the next decade.

In addition, he will outline how, if the airport’s current planning application to serve 43 million passengers a year is approved, it will not only grant London Stansted a licence to grow but will also give the green light to continued economic growth for London and the East of England.

Mr O’Toole will also call on Government to match the airport’s growth ambitions with swift and supportive action including; delivering an aviation strategy that sets out a clear plan for maximising the potential of the UK airports most capable of driving economic growth in their regions and for UK PLC; leading the delivery of short-term rail improvements to the London-Stansted-Cambridge line; introducing long overdue reforms to Air Passenger Duty (APD); and committing to increased investment to reduce queue times at the Border for inbound passengers to the UK.

Having delivered a nine per cent year-on-year increase in passengers during Summer ’18, London Stansted is the fastest growing London airport, with a host of new long-haul route launches and airlines complementing the continued growth of our short-haul network.

This growth is set to continue for Stansted and we are forecast to deliver as much as 50 per cent of London’s total expected passenger growth over the next decade.

London has never been in greater need of a vibrant aviation industry and as we look to the future we need to ensure we have the connectivity to trade globally, attract overseas investment and encourage tourists to our shores. We need to make best use of available airport capacity now to make this happen.

Stansted is the London airport with most available capacity today and is critical to London’s continued success. Our carriers are bullish about their future. London and the East of England will remain buoyant, and in order to keep stimulating growth for the airport and wider economy, we are transforming our facilities through our £600 million investment programme. 

It’s vital for the UK economy, and London, that this country has the best possible aviation connections and there is an urgent need to actively support airports, like London Stansted, that can deliver that access now.

We have put forward a strong planning application to increase the cap on passenger numbers from 35 million to 43 million passengers per annum, an increase we will deliver within existing limits on flight movements and noise impacts.

A licence to grow for Stansted is a licence to grow for London, and we welcome the Government’s support for airports seeking to make best use of their existing capacity. But we also need to see swift action in other areas – the Aviation Strategy needs to be much more ambitious and provide a framework for the industry to grow, particularly for airports like Stansted with a strategic role to play in providing connectivity. Government must also lead in delivering 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 is now well overdue.

Passengers, whether they be on leisure or business, want to travel from an airport that is convenient for them to access and can provide the destinations they want to travel to. If you are a major international bioscience company in the Cambridge cluster, or an investment bank or tech company in the City of London or on the eastern edge towards Silicon Roundabout, then that airport is increasingly Stansted.

There is a huge amount going on at London Stansted and as we continue to grow, transform and expand over the next decade we will play a leading role in delivering the continued growth in connectivity that London needs. And as we do so, we will continue to help make London, and the East of England, some of the best places in the world to live, work and do business.
Ken O’ Toole, London Stansted’s CEO

Full speech is available here: https://mediacentre.stanstedairport.com/london-stansted-ceo-ken-otoole-speech-at-the-london-first-infrastructure-summit-2018/