Stansted Airport Transit System

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Stansted Airport Transit System
London Stansted Airport transit station.jpg
An Adtranz C-100 vehicle approaches the Terminal station
LocaleLondon Stansted Airport,
Transit typeAutomated guideway transit/People mover
Number of lines1
Number of stations3
Daily ridership36000
Annual ridership13 million per year
WebsiteStansted Airport Terminal Guide
Began operation1991
Operator(s)Stansted Airport Limited
Number of vehicles8 in normal operation
System length2 miles (3.2 km)
System map
Stansted Airport
2. Gates 20-39
Main Terminal
TSRGD S2 Stansted Airport railway station
Stansted Airport
1. Gates 1-19

The Stansted Airport Track Transit System (TTS) is a fully automated people mover system which operates within London Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom.[1]

The transit system conveys air passengers between the main airport terminal and the departure/arrival gates, which are located some distance from the main terminal in satellite buildings. The system operates exclusively "airside", meaning that it can only by accessed by passengers who have first passed through airport security. The transit is provided free of charge.[2][3]


The Stansted Airport Transit System was opened in 1991. It was constructed as a result of the decision by the British Airports Authority (BAA) to redevelop the airport with an arrangement of satellite buildings detached from the main terminal. The BAA considered several options for conveying passengers safely and rapidly to the airport gates, including moving walkways, tunnels, bridges and bus links, before opting for an automated tracked transit system. After opening in 1991 the system was extended in 1998 with an additional two underground stations[inconsistent with below], to serve a second and a third satellite building.[1]



The Stansted Airport TTS vehicles run along a double-track guideway totalling 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) in length[1] which connects the main terminal building with three satellite buildings. The route begins on an elevated section alongside the departure lounge, before entering a tunnel which passes beneath the airport apron.[4] There is a maintenance depot at one end.


The Transit System has three stations: Terminal, Gates 1–19 (Satellite 1) and Gates 20–39 (Satellite 2). Satellite 3 (Gates 40–59) is not served by the Transit System; instead a pedestrian footway links the gates with the main terminal.[3]

Each station has segregated boarding and alighting platforms, allowing a more efficient passenger flow. All boarding points are equipped with platform screen doors.

In the main terminal, arriving passengers have landside access to Stansted Express rail services to London and elsewhere from Stansted Airport railway station.[5][4][Not relevant to this article.]


Interior of a TTS people mover

There were originally five Adtranz C-100 cars built by Westinghouse for the system. This was increased to nine when four new Adtranz CX-100 cars were delivered during the 1998 expansion.[1] During normal operation, eight out of the nine cars will be in service to maintain a 99.98% availability record.[1][3] The cars can operate as single units or can be coupled to form two or three car trains. The trains are fully automated and driverless.

Future developments[edit]

In 2016, Stansted Airport's parent company, Manchester Airport Group, awarded a £2.1m contract to replace the Automatic Train Operation central control system of the Stansted Airport Transit System to Firstco.[6]

Construction of a fourth satellite terminal has been proposed for Stansted Airport. Although expansion plans are not currently certain, it is thought that a fourth satellite building will be served by a TTS station, requiring an extension of the Transit System.[3]



  1. ^ a b c d e "24. BAA Stansted, Airport Transit System, TTS – The Track Transit System" (PDF). Cambridge University/BAA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  2. ^ "In The Terminal". Stansted Airport website. The Manchester Airports Group plc. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Simons, Graham; Bowman, Martin W. (2011). London's Airports. Casemate Publishers. pp. 135–6. ISBN 9781848843943. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Smiler, Simon. "Monorails, Maglevs and 'Cabin' Transports". Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ^ Blow, Christopher (2012). Transport Terminals and Modal Interchanges. Routledge. ISBN 9781136352294. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Stansted Airport Track Transit System - Airport Technology". Airport Technology. 6 November 2017.

Coordinates: 51°53′21″N 0°15′23″E / 51.8891°N 0.2565°E / 51.8891; 0.2565

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]