Government ‘must do more to maximise potential of all airports’ Stansted insists as Heathrow expansion gets green light

Aerial view of Stansted Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT

Aerial view of Stansted Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT - Credit: Archant

The government must do more to maximise the potential of all airports as Brexit approaches, Stansted Airport warned following a vote in the House of Commons backing Heathrow expansion.

Heathrow expansion moved a step closer after the government easily won a vote on controversial plans for a third runway.

Support from Labour MPs helped push through the proposals to expand Europe’s busiest airport with an overwhelming majority of 296.

But a group of councils and campaigners against the plans are preparing to take the Government to court to block the move.

The plans will create 114,000 extra jobs in the area around the airport by 2030, with an extra 16 million long-haul seats by 2040, according to officials.

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A Stansted Airport spokesperson said it was “vital” for the UK economy that the country has the “best possible aviation connections” as he called for better links with London and beyond.

“That means actively supporting airports that can deliver global connections now. London Stansted has significant capacity for growth, and we are investing £600m in new facilities to improve the passenger experience and help drive the UK economy,” the spokesperson said.

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“Government should match this investment by, specifically, committing to improving the rail link between London, the airport and beyond.

“With less than a year until Brexit, Government must do more to maximise the potential of all airports, to ensure the UK doesn’t lose out over the next decade.

“The Government’s announcement earlier this month confirming its support for airports looking to make best use of existing capacity is very welcome news following the submission of our planning application to unlock Stansted’s potential and serve up to 43m passengers without any increase in flights or noise limits beyond what is already permitted.

“Stansted has already provided new links to North America and the Middle East over the last six months and has the potential to introduce many more direct long-haul services in the years to come as we deliver 50% of London’s expected passenger growth over the next decade and extend the choice of airlines and destinations we serve.”

Stansted said its focus was on making best use existing capacity so the Heathrow situation had “little or no bearing” on what it is doing over the next 15 years or so.

Campaigning group Stop Stansted Expansion said it was making no comment on the Heathrow expansion decision.

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