Stansted Airport outlines future as Heathrow third runway given approval by cabinet
- Credit: Stansted Airport
Campaigners against expansion at Stansted Airport have reacted to plans to create a third runway at Heathrow.
Transport Minister Chris Grayling revealed proposals to add a third runway to the airport yesterday after a three year investigation run by the Airports Commission.
The resulting report considered a series of different options to improve air transport in the UK.
Stansted failed to make the final round of considerations for expansions – and was beaten by Gatwick and Heathrow.
In his Commons statement, Mr Grayling stressed that Heathrow expansion would bring benefits across the country.
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“The time for action is now. Heathrow is already full and the evidence shows the remaining London airports won’t be far behind,” he said.
Members of the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group have said that although their sympathies lie with the villages that could be affected near Heathrow, they are pleased potential changes near them have been slowed down.
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Brain Ross, the deputy chairman of SSE, said: “It kicks it into the long grass. It puts an end to the second runway at Stansted for a long time.”
Mr Ross was cautious about how long the legal process would take place before work starts at Heathrow.
“It cannot be assumed that it is bound to happen,” he said.
Even if it were to happen, Mr Ross suggested airports like Stansted may have to increase their capacity.
In response to the Government’s announcement, London Stansted CEO Ken O’Toole said yesterday: “Ahead of the anticipated decision from Uttlesford District Council relating to our application to increase the airport’s limit on passenger numbers to 43 million per year, we welcome today’s statement from the Government confirming its support for airports looking to make best use of existing capacity.
“Building on these successes, we are investing £600million to improve the airport experience and have submitted a planning application to make best use of our single runway.
“This will unlock Stansted’s potential and enable us to serve up to 43 million passengers, deliver 50% of London’s expected passenger growth over the next decade and extend the choice of airlines and destinations we serve.”