Suffolk/Essex: Business leader hopes for more flight capacity at Stansted Airport

BUSINESS leaders and MPs agree that more flight capacity is needed in the south-east of England.

John Dugmore, chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, hoped more international flights could be attracted to Stansted.

He said: “There is no doubt that London Stansted is a key economic driver of the regional economy. It has a �240million a year turnover and is the biggest single-site employer in our region.

“With more than 350 of those staff based in Suffolk, our members tell us on a regular basis the importance of business backing the airport and its plans for the future.

“There is a real danger of Britain falling behind its international rivals when it comes to generating links to emerging markets.”

You may also want to watch:

But he stopped short of saying a second runway at the UK’s fourth biggest airport was the answer.

“Stansted has plenty of spare capacity and can grow from its current 17million passengers a year to 35m on its existing runway.

Most Read

“Airlines could relocate from Heathrow to Stansted tomorrow and save millions of pounds in the process.”

East Anglian regional director of the CBI Richard Tunnicliffe said: “As an organisation, the CBI is anxious that there should be an increase in airport capacity in the south-east.

“We feel there needs to be more runway capacity – but we do not want to say where that should go.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the south-east needed a hub airport with a similar capacity to those on the continent.

“For a hub you need to have at least four runways – and it is difficult to see how that could happen at Heathrow,” he said.

“The proposal for a third runway has caused the huge debate. It might be better to build a new airport on the other side of London and sell Heathrow or Gatwick for housing.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter