The owner of Stansted has outlined expansion plans with an additional runway and even a new hub airport on the agenda.
The proposals submitted to the government’s Airports Commission include option for the short, medium and long term.
Manchester Airports Group, which bought Stansted from Heathrow at the start of the year, said that developing the airport “is likely to represent the most cost-effective solution for the country”.
“Stansted is uniquely placed to meet the UK’s aviation capacity needs now and over the next 15 years. Almost overnight, Stansted could double the number of flights it handles without any need for significant investment in new infrastructure,” said Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG.
“Looking to the long-term, the interests of passengers will be best served by a pragmatic approach, focused on delivering new capacity that is cost-effective and flexible, and capable of driving competition across the aviation industry.
“Developing new capacity at a number of airports is likely to be best for passengers. Should the Commission take a different view and conclude that the UK needs an effective hub to provide international connectivity, then Stansted could certainly fulfil that role in a cost-effective way.”
MAG believes that Stansted could accommodate an additional runway to either the worth-west or the east of the existing one.
It also outlined plans for a four-runway hub, which could accommodate up to 160 million passengers a year.
Last week marks the deadline for submissions to the Airports Commission with an initial report due at the end of the year.
Earlier last week, Heathrow outlined its own ideas, which included the building of a third or even fourth runway.
[pictured: Arrivals hall, Stansted; photo by EWR]