London Stansted airport has published new plans to extend its existing terminal building, stating that it represents “the most efficient and timely way to improve all elements of the passenger journey through the airport, while also providing the extra space required to accommodate forecast growth”.
Back in 2016 the airport unveiled plans for a separate Arrivals Hall. This had been due to open in 2020, but a combination of delays in approval for further expansion, and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, led to the project being shelved.
The new plan – if approved – will see a three-bay extension added to the back of the terminal building, which Stansted said would provide “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”.
The airport has welcomed over 26 million passengers in the last 12 months, and said that it expects to pass pre-pandemic passenger levels during the coming year.
Stansted said that the new scheme was a result of “extensive analysis of the options for adding terminal capacity”, and would enable the airport to improve capacity at busy times, as well as to cater for more passengers in the years ahead.
Last summer Stansted completed a £12 million upgrade of its international departure lounge, with additional seating and new dining and retail options, including a flagship WHSmith and InMotion store.
Commenting on the news Gareth Powell, London Stansted’s managing director, said:
“Our plan to invest in new facilities is great news for our customers, partners, and the region because it will provide additional terminal capacity and a better passenger experience for everyone travelling through London Stansted Airport.
“We have used the last few years to conduct a thorough review of the options for the next phase of investment, and it’s clear that extending the terminal is the best way of delivering improved service and new capacity.
“Our proposal will create a much more spacious and relaxing terminal environment providing space where and when it’s needed, and giving passengers even more choice when it comes to dining and shopping.
“It will also allow us to incorporate changes to security regulations, including the introduction of new security scanners, and the very latest check-in technology.
“All in all, we will be improving the airport experience throughout the entire passenger journey, from check-in on departure to immigration on arrival.
“The speed with which we’ve seen Stansted bounce back after the pandemic shows how important our airport is in the UK’s aviation system.
“The investment we plan to make will enhance facilities for all our airlines, from short-haul low-cost to long-haul full-service carriers, enabling us to continue playing an essential role serving passengers across London and the East of England and offering the best possible choice of destinations during this next phase of our development.
“The terminal extension is an important part of our plans for making best use of Stansted’s existing capacity, which will also deliver 5,000 new jobs and see the airport’s economic contribution double to £2 billion annually, so this really is an exciting prospect for our passengers, airlines, colleagues and the economic success of the region we serve.”
For our recent feature looking at airport infrastructure developments worldwide, see: