Passenger numbers at Stansted Airport fall
PASSENGER numbers at Stansted Airport have fallen for the fifteenth consecutive month prompting calls for expansion plans to be scrapped. The Essex airport handled 1.28m travellers in January – a drop of 11.2 per cent on the same month last year. Campaign
PASSENGER numbers at Stansted Airport have fallen for the fifteenth consecutive month prompting calls for expansion plans to be scrapped.
The Essex airport handled 1.28m travellers in January - a drop of 11.2 per cent on the same month last year.
Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) believes that because of the decline in passenger numbers the airport's existing runway is under used, making the need for a second runway a "fantasy".
SSE campaign director Carole Barbone said: "BAA is living in a Walter Mitty world, being frivolous and irresponsible with other people's money since a public inquiry won't come cheap for any of the parties. The cost to council taxpayers in Herts and Essex alone could be more than �2m."
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However airport owner BAA said that the fall in passenger numbers would not last forever and they would push ahead with the plans for a second runway.
A BAA spokesman said: "In line with our forecasts, nearly 1.3m passengers passed through Stansted during January. While there is likely to be some further decline in passenger numbers in the months ahead, we are expecting to see this dip hopefully level off later in the year.
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"Nobody is forecasting a downturn in the economy forever, and so long as the economy is expected to grow in the medium and longer term, demand for air travel will grow with it, so we remain optimistic about a return to passenger growth here at Stansted.
"The development of a second runway is a long-term project necessary for the economic health and prosperity of the UK and the region to 2030 and beyond."
SSE has written to the secretary of state for communities and local government Hazel Blears calling for the public inquiry to be postponed, pointing out that with Stansted Airport in decline there is no reason for haste.
The figures for passenger numbers in January were released by BAA on Tuesday February 10.