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Stansted Airport submits plans for new terminal extension

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London Stansted airport has submitted a planning application for a major extension of its terminal.

Under the scheme, which looks as if it will be seamlessly bolted on to the existing Norman Foster-designed modular building, a three bay extension will be added to the rear of the current structure.

You can see it here:

Stansted Airport terminal expansion

Yay, more shops!

The airport is promising:

a more spacious departure lounge for passengers, including new shops, bars and restaurants, state-of-the-art check-in equipment, increased baggage system capacity and an enlarged security hall with additional space for more security lanes fitted with next-generation scanners.

There is no mention of new lounge facilities, but it would be crazy if such a substantial extension did not include replacing or adding to the existing overrun Escape Lounge. (Our last review of the Escape Lounge is here.)

Stansted has served 26 million passengers in the last 12 months and is expected to pass its pre-pandemic passenger level this year. The airport has not been a one way growth story – passenger numbers hit 23 million in 2007 but then started a sharp decline, bottoming out at 17 million in 2012.

Stansted Airport terminal expansion planned

This is very much Plan B

Back in 2018, Stansted submitted plans to build two new taxiway links to the existing runway and nine additional aircraft stands. This was designed to lift airport capacity to 274,000 aircraft movements and 43 million passengers.

The plans also included a brand new Arrivals building, separate from the existing terminal. This would have made Stansted the only UK airport to have departing and arriving passengers using separate facilities:

After an acrimonious legal battle, which involved the local authority approving and then attempting to withdraw permission, the decision was settled on appeal in favour of the airport.

However, post pandemic, it appears that the airport is no longer going forward with the taxiways, additional stands or separate Arrivals building. The airport Managing Director said yesterday that:

the terminal extension is an important part of our plans for making best use of Stansted’s existing capacity

What may be driving the extension is the move to larger aircraft by its major customers, which will increase passenger volumes without increasing aircraft movements. Ryanair, for example, has just placed a major order for Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft. With 228 seats, these have 16% more seats than the MAX 8200 aircraft currently being delivered.

Work on the extension is expected to begin next summer, subject to approvals, and take three years to complete.

Comments (48)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • EW says:

    Stansted has been poor since part of MAG. It’s a mess and even new things like car parks have not been finished properly. Cramming more into a small space is not great and there is a shortage of toilets and seating.
    It was my first choice airport but now I prefer to travel further to others.

  • ADS says:

    The glass tubes to the gate buildings in the Stansted sketch are giving me flashbacks to Heathrow’s metal tubes to the CTA gates at the old T1 … and getting heatstroke walking down them in Summer !

  • Peter says:

    I’m genuinely looking forward to more FR flights as soon as my BA Gold card expires, I’m done with BA. Flights on time, a working and modern app, low fares. No promises of a premium airline that get constantly broken. You know exactly what you get.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      App is genuinely the best of all the ones I’ve used

    • ADS says:

      just don’t expect the Ryanair app to give you gate notifications or timing updates for your flight

      FR often don’t admit to delays even when the inbound plane is blatantly behind schedule !

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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