Stansted calls for growth to 35m passengers

Stansted Airport has the space and permission to serve 35 million passengers a year on its existing single runway – and has the capacity to help meet demand for air travel in the South East.

That is the key message in the airport’s response to the Government’s consultation to develop a new sustainable framework for UK aviation.

The airport’s response stresses that aviation is a key sector of the UK economy – with Stansted a driving force for growth in the East of England.

Stansted says it supports a new sustainable framework that strikes the right balance between social and economic benefits within clear environmental limits.

It calls for reform of the industry to ensure best use of available capacity and fairer taxation – and says passengers’ interests need to be put first.

And the airport says its track record shows growth can be achieved whilst minimising the impact.

“We welcome this opportunity to contribute to the important debate on the future of the UK aviation industry and to ensure the Government is properly informed of the issues and perspectives that are relevant to London Stansted,” said airport managing director Nick Barton.

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“We believe making best use of London Stansted’s permission to serve 35 million passengers a year will be the most sustainable approach to serving point-to-point demand in the short to medium term.

“But there is a pressing need for an updated aviation policy to provide a clear, long-term framework for the future of the sector, and we welcome the Government’s commitment to deliver this by 2013.

“London Stansted has a key role to play in supporting both policy development and the delivery of a sustainable aviation framework.

“We believe that the combination of the innovation brought about by the low-cost airlines, together with increased utilisation of Stansted’s spare capacity, will bring significant benefits to consumers and the economy, and at the same time protect the environment.”

Mr Barton added that a “dynamic and innovative” aviation industry supports the UK economy and jobs.

“Stansted is the largest single-site employer in the region with over 10,800 jobs – and is critical to our international competitiveness,” he said.