Former Home Secretary Priti Patel met with Stansted's managing director to discuss the airport's future.

Managing director Gareth Powell and Dame Patel, who is MP for Witham, spoke about Stansted Airport's strategic importance to the region, its role enabling economic growth and expansion plans for the site.

Mr Powell outlined the plans to expand the terminal, creating extra capacity and facilities.

They also discussed the success the airport has seen post-pandemic. Over the festive season the airport saw its busiest December on record, with two million passengers passing through the terminal.

Over the past 12 months, 27.7 million passengers have been through Stansted - an increase of 24 per cent on the previous year.

During their conversation, Mr Powell thanked Dame Patel for her successful campaign to persuade the government to return the Stansted Express to the full four trains per hour service.

In addition, they spoke about the expansion of international routes to London Stansted, which has the largest European route network of any airport in the UK and is the second biggest gateway to London for European visitors.

Dame Patel said: "I was delighted to visit Stansted Airport again, and to meet with Gareth to discuss the exciting plans for the airport.

"London Stansted is a key component that makes the East of England an economic powerhouse, and I am pleased to be able to support them in their bid for expansion.

"Stansted’s recovery from the pandemic has been incredibly successful and I’m delighted that after my discussions with government, the Stansted Express is back to running four trains per hour.


"I am now lobbying ministers to include London Stansted in the contactless travel zone making it easier for passengers to travel to and from the airport.

"This was also an opportunity for me to once again thank Stansted for their continued support of my local jobs fair which allows young people in the Witham constituency to explore career opportunities.

"With Stansted being one of the biggest employers in the local area, they are hugely popular with the attendees, and I look forward to welcoming London Stansted to the fair again this year."