London Stansted Airport
|London Stansted Airport
|IATA: STN – ICAO: EGSS|
|Owner||Manchester Airports Group|
|Operator||Stansted Airport Limited|
|Location||Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex|
|Elevation AMSL||348 ft / 106 m|
|Passenger change 11-12||3.2%|
|Movements change 11-12||3.2%|
|Sources: UK AIP at NATS
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority
London Stansted Airport (IATA: STN, ICAO: EGSS) is a passenger airport located at Stansted Mountfitchet in the local government district of Uttlesford in Essex, 48 km (30 mi) northeast of Central London and 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the Hertfordshire border.
Stansted is a base for a number of major European low-cost carriers, being the largest base for low-cost airline Ryanair with over 100 destinations served by the airline. In 2012 it was the fourth busiest airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. Stansted's runway is also used by private companies such as the Harrods Aviation terminal which is opposite the main terminal building and handles private jets and some state visits.
The airport is owned and operated by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which also owns and operates three other UK airports. MAG agreed to buy the airport from Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly BAA, on 18 January 2013, and the sale was completed for £1.5 billion on 28 February 2013. BAA had been required to sell the airport following a ruling originally made by the Competition Commission in March 2009.
Stansted Airport has one main passenger terminal, near the village of Stansted Mountfitchet. There are three passenger satellites in which the departure gates are situated, one is connected to the main terminal by an air-bridge and the other two by the Stansted Airport Transit System people mover.
The terminal building was designed by Foster Associates with input from the structural engineer Peter Rice and features a "floating" roof, supported by a space frame of inverted-pyramid roof trusses, creating the impression of a stylised swan in flight. The base of each truss structure is a "utility pillar", which provides indirect uplighting illumination and is the location for air-conditioning, water, telecommunications and electrical outlets. The layout of the airport was designed to provide an unobstructed flow for passengers to arrive at the short-stay car park, move through the check-in hall, go through security and on to the departure gates all on the same level.
From 1997 to 2007 Stansted saw rapid expansion of passenger numbers on the back of the boom in low cost air travel, peaking at 24 million passengers in the 12 months to October 2007, but since then passenger numbers have been in decline. The passenger total in 2012 fell to 17.5 million, a 3.3% reduction compared with 2011.
Second World War 
The airfield opened in 1943 and was used during the Second World War as RAF Stansted Mountfitchet by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces as a bomber airfield and as a major maintenance depot. Although the official name was Stansted Mountfitchet, the base was known as simply Stansted in both written and spoken form.
The station was first allocated to the USAAF Eighth Air Force in August 1942 as a heavy bomber airfield. As well as an operational bomber base, Stansted was also a ATSC maintenance and supply depot concerned with major overhauls and modification of B-26s. After D-Day these activities were transferred to France, but the base was still used as a supply storage area for the support of aircraft on the continent.
Postwar use 
After the withdrawal of the Americans on 12 August 1945, Stansted was taken over by the Air Ministry and used by No. 263 Maintenance Unit, RAF for storage purposes. In addition, between March 1946 and August 1947, Stansted was used for housing German prisoners of war.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation finally took control of Stansted in 1949 and the airport was then used as a base by several UK charter airlines. The US military returned in 1954 to extend the runway for a possible transfer to NATO. The transfer to NATO was never realised, however, and the airport continued in civil use, ending up under BAA control in 1966.
During the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s the Fire Service Training School (FSTS) was based on the eastern side of the airfield under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, now the Civil Aviation Authority. The school was responsible for the training of all aviation fire crews for British airfields as well as those of many overseas countries.
Commercial operations 
Beginning in 1966, after Stansted was placed under BAA control, the airport was used by holiday charter operators wishing to escape the higher costs associated with operating from Heathrow and Gatwick. From the outset, however, BAA and the British government planned to develop Stansted into London's third airport, to relieve Heathrow and Gatwick of excess congestion in the future. The airport's first terminal building opened in 1969 and was expanded the next year to handle the growing number of passengers.
In 1984, the government approved a plan to develop Stansted in two phases, involving both airfield and terminal improvements that would increase the airport's capacity to 15 million passengers per year. Construction of the current terminal building began in 1988 and was completed in March 1991, and was designed by the internationally acclaimed Lord Foster. At the time it was the most modern airport complex in the world and cost £100 million.
Long-haul scheduled services commenced in the early 1990s when American Airlines operated a transatlantic service between Stansted and Chicago, however the route was unprofitable and was withdrawn in 1993. Continental Airlines also operated services in the late 1990s from Newark, but this service was stopped shortly after the 11 September 2001 attacks.
Long-haul services to the USA returned in late 2005, when Eos Airlines and MAXjet Airways commenced all-business-class services from Stansted to New York-JFK Airport. In 2006, MAXjet expanded their service with flights to Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Los Angeles. American Airlines began daily flights to Stansted in October 2007 from New York-JFK and was originally expected to operate a second daily flight from April 2008. However, all three services to the USA have since been discontinued following the demise of MAXjet Airways in December 2007 and Eos Airlines in April 2008. Finally, in July 2008 American Airlines withdrew from the airport, spelling the end of Stansted transatlantic passenger operations.
Long haul transatlantic operations made a return to Stansted in June 2010, when Sun Country Airlines announced a seasonal weekly service from Stansted to Minneapolis. The flights made a re-fuelling stop-over in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador as the aircraft used for the flight, a Boeing 737–800, would not be able to complete a non-stop westbound flight from Stansted to Minneapolis. The flights operated from 11 June to 15 August 2010. In 2011, Sun Country operated to Gatwick rather than Stansted.
Stansted also had scheduled and charter flights to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but these flights to Canada have now ceased. Long-haul services to Asia commenced in March 2009 with Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia X providing direct flights to Kuala Lumpur; however, since 24 October 2011, these flights have operated from Gatwick Airport instead.
Since 1984 the airport's capacity had been limited to a maximum throughput of 25 million passengers per annum (25 mppa) in accordance with recommendations made by the 1984 public inquiry and confirmed by the government of the day.
A major expansion programme to the existing terminal took place between 2007 and 2009, adding nearly 5,900 m2 (64,000 sq ft) of floorspace to give space for additional baggage carousels, a new immigration and passport control hall and a hypostyle arrivals hall with improved facilities.
In November 2006 Uttlesford District Council rejected a BAA planning application to increase the permitted number of aircraft movements and to remove the limit on passenger numbers. BAA immediately appealed against the decision and a public inquiry opened lasting from May until October 2007. Planning Inspector Alan Boyland made his recommendations in January 2008. Those recommendations were largely followed by the Secretary of State for Transport (Geoff Hoon) and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Hazel Blears), who jointly allowed the applicant's appeal in October 2008. A series of legal challenges by community campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) were rejected by the High Court during 2009.
The Competition Commission ruled in March 2009 that BAA should sell Gatwick and Stansted Airports within two years. The ruling was quashed within a year following an appeal but was subsequently upheld. The Competition Commission reconfirmed its ruling in July 2011 that the airport be sold, and the Court of Appeal turned down an appeal by BAA on 26 July 2012. In light of the result, BAA chose not to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and confirmed on 20 August 2012 that the airport would be sold.
Airlines and destinations 
In 1988, over 1.1 million passengers passed through Stansted, the first time annual passenger numbers had exceeded 1 million at the airport. Consistent year-on-year growth followed and by 1997 the total had reached over 5 million, rapidly rising to almost 12 million in 2000.
2000 onwards 
|Updated: 17 March 2013.|
|Number of Passengers[nb 1]||Percentage Change||Number of Movements[nb 2]||Freight (tonnes)|
|Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority
In 2007 passenger numbers peaked at nearly 24 million, but have been in decline for 5 years since then and in 2012 the total was around 17.5 million, less than the 2003 level. Annual aircraft movements also peaked in 2007 at nearly 210,000, but in 2012 were at their lowest level in over a decade at around 144,000.
Stansted is a major freight airport, the third busiest in the UK during 2011, behind London Heathrow and East Midlands Airport, handling in excess of 214,000 tonnes per annum, although freight throughput has declined slightly from its 2005 peak level.
Busiest routes 
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled|| % change
|7||Spain, Palma de Mallorca||319,216||10.5|
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled|| % Change
Terminal and satellite buildings 
Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated into three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures. There are no gates in the main terminal building; instead, there are three separate oblong satellite buildings in which the gates are located, with a fourth satellite building under construction. Two satellite buildings are reached by transit trains taking passengers from the departure hall and to the arrivals hall in the main terminal building. The third satellite building is not operated by the transit system, but is connected to the terminal building by a walkway.
The terminal facilities include several bureaux de change, luggage services, internet access, showers, and a chapel and multifaith prayer room for worship. There are over 60 shops, bars, restaurants and cafés, as well as lounges.
Air traffic control tower 
Stansted's air traffic control tower is amongst the tallest in Britain and was the tallest at the time of its construction. It is located at the north east of the airfield just south of the terminal building. Its height is necessary as it needs to be able to view satellite 3 clearly as that's where almost half of Stansted's aircraft movements occur. Like most control towers in the UK, it can be seen from miles away, due to its height. All of the glass windows on the control tower have green tinted glass, which matches the windows on all the satellite buildings. This control tower has replaced the old control tower which has now been demolished. It was located to the west of the airfield, was very small and low with poor views of the new terminal parking areas. Thus a new control tower was needed because Stansted has grown massively since the new Terminal was opened to passengers in 1991.
Other infrastructure 
There are several cargo buildings and hangars around the airfield. The main cargo centre is located by the control tower and handles most cargo operations, including aircraft such as the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and the Boeing 747. There are a small number of hangars on the other side of the runway to the rest of the airport. The largest are located at the south east of the airfield, one of which is used by Ryanair and is able to hold up to five of their Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Titan Airways has its head office in the Enterprise House on the airport property. Several airlines at one time had their head offices on the airport property. AirUK (later KLM uk) had its head office in the Stansted House. When Buzz existed, its head office was in the Endeavour House. When AB Airlines existed, its head office was in the Enterprise House. For a period Lloyd International Airways had its head office at the Lloyd House at Stansted. When Go Fly existed its head office was at the Enterprise House.
Ground transport 
Stansted Airport railway station is below the terminal building, with rail services to Cambridge, Leicester and the Midlands every 60 minutes operated by CrossCountry. The Stansted Express train runs to and from Liverpool Street station in London every 15 minutes and the journey time is 45 minutes to one hour. A Monday–Saturday hourly service operates to Harlow and Stratford, London, calling at most stations.
Buses and coaches 
Scheduled express bus or coach services run to and from Stratford (45 minutes), Victoria Coach Station (75 minutes), Liverpool Street Station (55 minutes) and Golders Green (70 minutes) (all in London), costing about half the train fare but taking longer. The bus station is next to the terminal building. National Express runs scheduled but infrequent direct coach services to the airport from Oxford as service JL737, taking about three hours, and hourly services to and from Cambridge. EasyBus and Terravision provide journeys between the airport and Central London. Excel operates a coach service to Capel St Mary and Ipswich every 2 hours, 24 hours a day. This service operates as Airdirect. Also a new route has been introduced linking Stansted Airport to Grays via Brentwood, Ongar, and Basildon called route X3 operating 24 hours a day, every 2 hours. First Group operates a bus service between the airport and Clacton-on-Sea, (calling at Braintree, Bradwell, Marks Tey, Colchester North Station, Essex University and Frating), the X22 service departs every 2 hours 7 days a week (excluding Christmas Day).
A few local bus services operate to the nearby communities of Bishops Stortford and Stansted Mountfitchet, most notably the 510 (Harlow to Stansted), 308 (Bishops Stortford to Stansted) and the 700 Express (Stevenage to Stansted). Villagelink services 5 and 7 connect to many of the nearby villages. Journeys are free of charge within the vicinity of the airport, by reason of a green travel plan instituted by the BAA to reduce staff demands for parking space.
As of October 1996, the airport has 2,500 short stay parking spaces within walking distance to the terminal. In addition, as of the same month, the airport has over 8,000 long stay spaces located near the M11 motorway and A120 junction. A courtesy bus service links the long stay spaces to the terminal. Besides these standard short-stay and long-stay parking BAA also offers mid-stay which is comparable to 'long-stay parking but where the parking-spot is slightly closer to the main terminal BAA also offers facilities with BAA valet-parking where you drop-off your car at the terminal and staff park it for you, with the car waiting for you upon your return. As with the other parking facilities, you can book your valet-parking online via the airport's website
Transit system 
The Stansted Airport Transit System connects two of the terminals via a 2 mi (3 km) free automated people mover service which runs on dual concrete track. The system uses a mix of Adtranz C-100 and Bombardier Innovia APM 100 vehicles to carry passengers to departure gates; unlike the similar Gatwick Airport transit, the Stansted transit is only accessible "airside" (i.e. only after passengers pass through security).
Proposed developments 
Second runway plans abandoned 
||This section may contain original research. (June 2011)|
|Cost estimate||£4 billion (£200m spent by 2010)|
|Start date||unlikely before 2020|
|Completion date||unlikely before 2022|
On 11 March 2008, BAA submitted a planning application (titled "G2") to expand the airport by 3 sq mi (8 km2) and for the construction of a second runway and terminal, etc., in line with a recommendation in the 2003 Air Transport White Paper (ATWP). This would have been the subject of a public inquiry and, if approved, would have allowed Stansted to handle more passengers than Heathrow did at the time of the application.
The ATWP had anticipated that a second runway would be operational by 2011, but this date continued to slip. BAA's 2008 planning application envisaged operation commencing in 2015, and in 2009, BAA revised the anticipated opening date to 2017.
Prior to the United Kingdom's May 2010 general election, all three major political parties pledged not to approve a second runway. Soon after the election, the new government confirmed this, and BAA withdrew its application for planning permission, having spent nearly £200 million preparing for the public inquiry and buying up properties.
The public inquiry into BAA's second runway application had been scheduled to start on 15 April 2009, but the start was delayed by Secretary of State Hazel Blears to allow time for BAA and the Government to consider the implications of the March 2009 Competition Commission's ruling that BAA must sell Stansted within two years. As 2011 drew to a close, BAA was still appealing against the Competition Commission ruling. On 20 August 2012, after losing a case at the Court of Appeal, BAA agreed to cease challenging the Competition Commission's ruling and to sell Stansted.
On 10 February 2010, Secretary of State John Denham, in an open letter, concluded that the inquiry could not reasonably start until after the General Election. In addition, he commented that the planning application documents were nearly two years old and would require updating. Eventually, BAA realised the futility of pursuing its G2 application in the context of the new government policy and withdrew it on 24 May 2010.
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2013)|
||The examples and perspective in this section might have an extensive bias or disproportional coverage towards one or more specific regions. (April 2013)|
The advocacy group Stop Stansted Expansion ("SSE"), formed in 2002 as a working group of the North West Essex and East Herts Preservation Association, in response to the Government's consultation on expanding UK airports and, particularly, expansion plans for Stansted Airport subsequently defined in the Air Transport White Paper in December 2003.
The group has 7,500 Members and Registered Online Supporters including around 150 special interest and environmental organisations, parish and town councils and other communities threatened by airport expansion. SSE fought for nearly 8 years against the additional runways.
It still actively campaigns against what its members see as the unsustainable expansion of the airport. SSE was a major participant in the 2007 "G1" public inquiry and had committed to be a major participant in the anticipated inquiry into the 'G2' second runway proposal. Following the withdrawal of the G2 planning application the group called upon BAA to sell the homes it had bought to support the planned expansion. It has campaigned to both remove the effects that blighted the local communities and for a moratorium of at least 50 years on any further proposals for a second runway..
Incidents and accidents 
Stansted has been designated by the UK Government as its preferred airport for any hijacked planes requesting to land in the UK. This is because its design allows a hijacked airliner to be isolated well away from any terminal buildings or runways, allowing the airport to continue to operate while negotiations are carried out, or even while an assault or rescue mission is undertaken. Staff at the airport receive special training for dealing with hijacks. For this reason Stansted has been involved in more hijack incidents than might be expected for an airport of its size.
- On 22 December 1999, Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509, a Boeing 747-200F, crashed shortly after take off from the airfield due to pilot error. The only people on board at the time were the aircrew and all four were killed. The aircraft crashed in Hatfield Forest near the village of Great Hallingbury.
- On 6 February 2000, an Ariana Afghan Airlines Boeing 727 with 156 people on board was hijacked and flown to Stansted Airport. After a four-day stand-off the hostages on board were safely freed and the incident ended peacefully. It later emerged that the motive behind the hijack was to gain asylum in the UK, sparking debate about immigration into the country. A large number of passengers on board the plane also applied for asylum. In July 2004, it was reported that a number of hijackers had won their bid for asylum in the UK, their convictions for hijacking having been quashed for misdirection of the jury in 2003.
In popular culture 
Television and film 
The film Get Him to the Greek was filmed in August 2009, outside and inside the airport. The show Mile High was partly filmed at Stansted Airport for both series, although the airport was sometimes referred to as "London Airport." The airport serves as the main base for the fictional airline 'Fresh!'. Clips shown of the airport include outside the terminal building, inside, and the gates.
A documentary called 'Stansted: The Inside Story' follows the daily workings of the airport.
The 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises was partly filmed at the airport.
See also 
- London Stansted – EGSS
- CAA: UK Annual Airport Statistics
- "Stansted Airport being sold to Manchester for £1.5bn". BBC News Online. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Sinead Holland (28 February 2013). "£1.5 billion Stansted Airport sale complete". Harlow Star. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Above Us The Skies: The Story Of BAA – 1991 (Michael Donne – BAA plc), p. 62-63
- Harrison, Michael (1 April 1993). "American Airlines to quit Stansted: Long haul carrier scraps Chicago service". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Runway protest strands passengers". BBC News. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "BAA could challenge airport sale". BBC News Online. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "BAA sell-off back on track after court ruling". BBC News Online. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "BAA loses final Competition Commission sell-off ruling". BBC News. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "BAA loses latest appeal against Stansted sale". BBC News Online. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Stansted Airport to be sold by BAA". BBC News Online. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Loading...". Charterflights.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Loading...". Charterflights.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Loading...". Charterflights.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "Loading...". Charterflights.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Stansted: Freight carrier Cargolux launches Hong Kong and Luxembourg link - Business - East Anglian Daily Times". Eadt.co.uk. 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "1983 - 1997 Airport Statistics". United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 28 January 2013. Text " Aviation Intelligence " ignored (help)
- "UK Airport Statistics". United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 28 January 2013. Text " Aviation Intelligence " ignored (help)
- "The future". London Stansted Airport. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- "BAA Stansted: Lounges". Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- "Stansted Airport Control Tower – MDA Consulting". Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- "Contact Us." Titan Airways. Retrieved 16 December 2011. "Titan Airways Ltd Enterprise House Stansted Airport Essex CM24 1RN"
- "Home-page." [sic] AirUK. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 18–24 March 1998. 82.
- "Contact Us." Buzz. Retrieved on 2 September 2009.
- "An Introduction to AB Airlines." AB Airlines. 30 January 1998. Retrieved on 7 February 2011. "AB Airlines – Internet Enquiry Office Enterprise House, Stansted Airport Essex. CM24 1QW"
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 10 April 1969. 580. "Head Office: Lloyd House, First Avenue, Stansted Airport, Essex."
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 27 March – 2 April 2001. 77. "Enterprise House, 2nd Floor, Stansted Airport, Stansted, Essex, CM241SB, UK"
- Stansted Website on Stansted Parking Facilities, visited 19 June 2011
- Website Stansted airport Valet Parking service, visited 20 June 2011
- "Stansted." AirUK. 29 October 1996. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "£2.5bn Stansted Generation 2 planning bid submitted". Transport Briefing. 12 March 2008.
- BBC News: Heathrow and Stansted runway plans scrapped by BAA, 24 May 2010. Visited 20 June 2011
- Stansted's Hijack History, BBC News, 7 February 2000
- "Special report: Hijack at Stansted". BBC News. 14 February 2000. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
- "Afghans win right to stay in UK". BBC News. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
- Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers—1908 to present
- The Bishop's Stortford Herald newspaper, 26 April 2007.
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