London Stansted Airport



Busiest routes to and from Stansted Airport (2010)
Rank Airport Passengers handled % Change
2009 / 10
1   Dublin
Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport, , is operated by the Dublin Airport Authority. Located in Collinstown, in the Fingal part of County Dublin, 18.4 million passengers passed through the airport in 2010, making it the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland, followed by Cork and Shannon...

720,672 8.4
2   Malaga
Málaga Airport
Málaga Airport , also known as Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport and Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport, is the fourth busiest airport in Spain after Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. It is an important airport for Spanish tourism as it is the main international airport serving the Costa Del Sol....

377,961 19.9
3   Alicante
Alicante Airport
Alicante Airport , , originally named El Altet, is the sixth busiest airport in Spain, and the main airport for the Province of Alicante and the Region of Murcia. The airport is situated southwest of Alicante and east of Elche in the municipality of Elche on Mediterranean coast. Up to eighty...

372,801 3.6
4   Rome Ciampino 350,153 7.4
5   Milan Bergamo 335,104 0.7
6   Edinburgh
Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport is located at Turnhouse in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2010, handling just under 8.6 million passengers in that year. It was also the sixth busiest airport in the UK by passengers and the fifth busiest by aircraft movements...

329,933 11.7
7   Glasgow International
Glasgow International Airport
Glasgow International Airport is an international airport in Scotland, located west of Glasgow city centre, near the towns of Paisley and Renfrew in Renfrewshire...

301,758 1.1
8   Belfast City 301,637 8.2
9   Belfast International
Belfast International Airport
Belfast International Airport is a major airport located northwest of Belfast in Northern Ireland. It was formerly known and is still referred to as Aldergrove Airport, after the village of the same name lying immediately to the west of the airport. Belfast International shares its runways with...

301,069 2.7
10   Faro
Faro Airport
-Incidents and accidents:*On 21 December 1992, Martinair Flight 495 skidded off the runway in bad weather at Faro Airport killing 54 passengers and two crew out of a total of 340 people on board....

295,522 7.7
11   Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca Airport
Palma de Mallorca Airport is an airport located east of Palma, Majorca, adjacent to the village of Can Pastilla. Also known as Son Sant Joan Airport or Aeroport de Son Sant Joan, it is the third largest airport in Spain, after Madrid's Barajas Airport and Barcelona Airport...

288,972 5.3
12   Amsterdam 278,137 7.7
13   Stockholm Skavsta 277,806 0.8
14   Frankfurt Hahn 276,350 12.1
15   Pisa 265,266 1.6
16   Berlin Schönefeld 264,592 19.4
17   Copenhagen
Copenhagen Airport
Copenhagen Airport is the main international airport serving Copenhagen, Denmark and the Oresund Region. It is located on the island of Amager, south of Copenhagen city centre, and west of Malmö city centre on the other side of the Oresund Bridge. The airport lies mainly in the municipality...

253,390 4.7
18   Riga 240,109 7.6
19   Bratislava 238,486 3.5
20   Gothenburg City
Gothenburg City Airport
Gothenburg City Airport or Göteborg City Airport , formerly known as Säve Flygplats, is Gothenburg's second international airport, located north-west from the centre of Gothenburg on the island of Hisingen, Bohuslän, Sweden. It is located within the borders of Gothenburg Municipality, hence its...

232,061 10.9


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 in to 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 fourth satellite building will also be served by transit trains.


The terminal facilities include several bureaux de change, luggage services, internet access, showers, and a chapel and multifaith prayer room
Multifaith space
A multifaith space is a location where interested people of differing religious beliefs jointly attend multifaith worship services. The space may or may not be a dedicated place of worship.-See also:* Interfaith* Religious pluralism* Religious toleration...

 for worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

. There are over 60 shops, bars, restaurants and cafés, as well as lounges
Airport lounge
An airport lounge is a lounge owned by a particular airline . Many offer private meeting rooms, phone, fax, wireless and Internet access and other business services, along with provisions to enhance comfort such as free drinks and snacks...


Air traffic control tower

Stansted's air traffic control
Air traffic control
Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...

 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
McDonnell Douglas MD-11
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range widebody jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller...

 and the Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

. 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
Boeing 737 Next Generation
The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as Boeing 737NG, is the name given to the -600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 after the introduction of the -300/-400/-500 Classic series. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners...


Several airlines at one time had their head offices on the airport property. AirUK
Air UK was a wholly privately owned, independentindependent from government-owned corporations regional British airline formed in 1980 as a result of a merger involving four rival UK-based regional airlines. British and Commonwealth -owned British Island Airways and Air Anglia were the two...

 (later KLM uk
KLM UK was the brand name of a British airline subsidiary of KLM, which operated services within the UK and between the UK and the Netherlands using ATR-72, Fokker 50 and Fokker 100 aircraft...

) had its head office in the Stansted House. When Buzz
Buzz (airline)
Buzz was a British low-cost airline operating services within Europe. It operated from 2000 until 2004 as a subsidiary of KLM and then Ryanair.- History :The airline was established in 1999 and started operations on January 4, 2000...

 existed, its head office was in the Endeavour House. When AB Airlines
AB Airlines
AB Airlines was an airline with its head office in the Entreprise House on the property of London Stansted Airport in Uttlesford, Essex. AB was one of the first 'low cost airlines' in England, preceding others such as EasyJet, Ryanair, and Go Fly. It was created in 1993 by former Brymon Airways...

 existed, its head office was in the Enterprise House. For a period Lloyd International Airways
Lloyd International Airways
Lloyd International Airways Ltd was a private, British independentindependent from government-owned corporations airline formed in 1961 to operate worldwide charter flights. It commenced operations with a single Douglas DC-4 piston airliner from Cambridge Marshall Airport. Lloyd International...

 had its head office at the Lloyd House at Stansted.

Ground transport


Stansted Airport railway station
Stansted Airport railway station
Stansted Airport railway station serves London Stansted Airport in Essex, England.It is situated at the end of a short branch from the West Anglia Main Line. The branch was constructed at a cost of £44 million and opened in 1991, to coincide with the completion of the airport's new terminal building...

 is below the terminal building, with rail services to Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

 and the Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

 every 60 minutes operated by CrossCountry
CrossCountry is the brand name of XC Trains Ltd., a British train operating company owned by Arriva...

. The Stansted Express
Stansted Express
Stansted Express is a sub-brand of National Express East Anglia. It is the direct train service linking central London to Stansted Airport, one of London's major air hubs...

 train runs to and from Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street railway station, also known as London Liverpool Street or simply Liverpool Street, is both a central London railway terminus and a connected London Underground station in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, England...

 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
Victoria Coach Station
Victoria Coach Station is the largest and most significant coach station in London. It serves long distance coach services and is also the departure point for many countryside coach tours originating from London. It should not be confused with the nearby Green Line Coach Station serving Green Line...

 (75 minutes), Liverpool Street Station
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street railway station, also known as London Liverpool Street or simply Liverpool Street, is both a central London railway terminus and a connected London Underground station in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, England...

 (55 minutes) and Golders Green
Golders Green
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.In the...

 (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
National Express
National Express Coaches, more commonly known as National Express, is a brand and company, owned by the National Express Group, under which the majority of long distance bus and coach services in Great Britain are operated,...

 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
EasyBus provides UK express coach services to and from London and its main airports. It was founded by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 2003, and is part of the EasyGroup...

 and Terravision
Terravision, founded in 2002 in Rome, is an airport transfer company operating in Europe. The company currently operates out of 14 low cost European airports....

 provide journeys between the airport and Central London.
Excel operates a coach service to Capel St Mary and Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

 every 2 hours, 24 hours a day. This service operates as Airdirect. Also a new route has been introduced linking Stansted Airport to Grays
Grays is the largest town in the borough and unitary authority of Thurrock in Essex and one of the Thurrock's traditional parishes...

 via Brentwood
Brentwood, Essex
Brentwood is a town and the principal settlement of the Borough of Brentwood, in the county of Essex in the east of England. It is located in the London commuter belt, 20 miles east north-east of Charing Cross in London, and near the M25 motorway....

 , Ongar
Ongar can refer toin England*High Ongar, Essex*Chipping Ongar, Essex **Ongar , an ancient administrative unit**Ongar railway stationin Ireland*Ongar, Dublinin Pakistan...

 , and Basildon
Basildon is a town located in the Basildon District of the county of Essex, England.It lies east of Central London and south of the county town of Chelmsford...

 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
Stansted Mountfitchet
Stansted Mountfitchet is a village and civil parish in the county of Essex, England, near the Hertfordshire border, north of London. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 5,533. The village is served by Stansted Mountfitchet railway station....

, most notably the 510 (Harlow to Stansted), 308 (Bishops Stortford to Stansted) and the 700 Express (Stevenage
Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England. It is situated to the east of junctions 7 and 8 of the A1, and is between Letchworth Garden City to the north, and Welwyn Garden City to the south....

 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.


Stansted is connected to northeast London and Cambridge by the M11 motorway
M11 motorway
The M11 motorway in England is a major road running approximately north from the North Circular Road in South Woodford in north-east London to the A14, north-west of Cambridge.-Route:...

 and to Braintree
Braintree, Essex
Braintree is a town of about 42,000 people and the principal settlement of the Braintree district of Essex in the East of England. It is northeast of Chelmsford and west of Colchester on the River Blackwater, A120 road and a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line.Braintree has grown contiguous...

, Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 and Harwich
Harwich is a town in Essex, England and one of the Haven ports, located on the coast with the North Sea to the east. It is in the Tendring district. Nearby places include Felixstowe to the northeast, Ipswich to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea to the south...

 by the A120, which is dual-carriageway until Braintree.

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
M11 motorway
The M11 motorway in England is a major road running approximately north from the North Circular Road in South Woodford in north-east London to the A14, north-west of Cambridge.-Route:...

 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 dop-off your car at the terminal and staff parks it for you. And on return your car is delivered to you at the terminal building. As the other parking-facilities you can book your valet-parkin online via the airport's website

Transit system

The Stansted Airport Transit System connects two of the terminals via a 2 miles (3 km) free automated people mover service which runs on dual concrete track. The system uses a mix of Adtranz C-100
Adtranz C-100
The C-100 is an automated people mover rolling stock first developed by Westinghouse Transportation Systems . It is the predecessor of the Bombardier CX-100, which is found at many airports today...

 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).

Second runway plans abandoned

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.

In May 2010 the BAA withdrew her plans to build a second runway at Stansted (together with withdrawing the plans to build a new runway at Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

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 Coalition 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
Hazel Blears
Hazel Anne Blears is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Salford and Eccles since 2010 and was previously the MP for Salford since 1997...

 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 2010 drew to a close, BAA was still appealing against the Competition Commission ruling.

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.

The campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion
Stop Stansted Expansion
Stop Stansted Expansion is an advocacy group established 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...

 ("SSE"), formed in 2002 as a working group of the North West Essex and East Herts Preservation Association, has some 7,000 members including over 100 local authorities and other organisations. 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. SSE celebrated the withdrawal of the G2 planning application but immediately called upon BAA to sell the homes it had bought so that blighted communities might start to rebuild, and to apologise to all those whose property and lives had been blighted by the issue in 2008 of draft Compulsory Purchase Orders, now withdrawn. SSE is also now campaigning for a moratorium of at least 50 years on any further proposals for a second runway, given that the local community has had to fight several attempts to expand the airport since the 1960s.

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
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and the United States Army Air Force 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
Eighth Air Force
The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Global Strike Command . It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana....

 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
Air Ministry
The Air Ministry was a department of the British Government with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964...

 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
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

 operated a transatlantic service between Stansted and Chicago
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

, however the route was unprofitable and was withdrawn in 1993. Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 also operated services in the late 1990s from Newark
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

, 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
Eos Airlines
Eos Airlines, Inc. was an American all-business class airline headquartered in Purchase, New York, with its flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York...

 and MAXjet Airways
MAXjet Airways
MAXjet Airways was an American, transatlantic, all-business class airline that operated between 2003 and 2007. Its headquarters were located on the grounds of Washington-Dulles International Airport, and in the Dulles area of Loudoun County, Virginia, United States.MAXjet operated services to...

 commenced all-business-class services from Stansted to New York-JFK Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

. In 2006, MAXjet expanded their service with flights to Washington, D.C.
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

, Las Vegas
McCarran International Airport
McCarran International Airport is the principal commercial airport serving Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada, United States. The airport is located five miles south of the central business district of Las Vegas, in the unincorporated area of Paradise in Clark County. It covers an area of and...

 and Los Angeles
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

. 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
Sun Country Airlines
MN Airlines, LLC, operating as Sun Country Airlines, is an American low-cost airline headquartered in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Mendota Heights, Minnesota...

 announced a seasonal weekly service from Stansted to Minneapolis. The flights made a re-fuelling stop-over in Gander, Newfoundland 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 and are likely to make a return next year, but possibly with a higher frequency and the flights may operate all year round, rather than in the summer.

Stansted also had scheduled and charter flights to Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, but these flights to Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 have now ceased. Long-haul services to Asia commenced in March 2009 with Malaysian low-cost airline Air Asia X providing direct flights to Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the second largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of , has a population of 1.4 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million...

, however from October 23 2011, the flights will transfer to 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 5900 m² (7,056.3 sq yd) of floorspace to give space for additional baggage carousels, a new immigration and passport control hall and a hypostyle
In architecture, a hypostyle hall has a roof which is supported by columns, as in the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. The word hypostyle comes from the Ancient Greek hypóstȳlos meaning "under columns"...

 arrivals hall with improved facilities.

In November 2006 Uttlesford
Uttlesford is a local government district in Essex, England. Its council is based in Saffron Walden.Its name is derived from the ancient Hundred of the same name....

 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
Geoff Hoon
Geoffrey "Geoff" William Hoon is a British politician who served as the Member of Parliament for Ashfield from 1992 to 2010...

) 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.

In 2008 57 people were arrested after Plane Stupid
Plane Stupid
Plane Stupid is a UK-focused group of environmental protesters who state their aim as wanting to see an end to airport expansion for what it sees as "unnecessary and unsustainable" flights. The organisation has no formal hierarchy, leader, or media figurehead. It is a loose association of...

, the environmental activist group, broke through the barriers and created a 'stockade' on a taxiway which resulted in 52 flights being cancelled.

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 31 March 1998, a chartered Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (owned by Emerald Airways), carrying the Leeds United football team, suffered an engine explosion on take off, resulting in an emergency landing and evacuation. All onboard survived, with only a few suffering minor injuries.
  • On 22 December 1999, Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509
    Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509
    Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509 was a Boeing 747-2B5F, registered HL7451 and bound for Milano-Malpensa Airport, that crashed due to pilot error on 22 December 1999 shortly after take-off from London Stansted Airport; at 18:38, 55 seconds after take-off, Flight 8509 plunged into the ground at a speed...

    , a Boeing 747-200F
    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

    , crashed shortly after take off from the airfield due to pilot error. The only people onboard at the time were the aircrew and all four were killed. The aircraft crashed in Hatfield Forest
    Hatfield Forest
    Hatfield Forest in Essex, England lies between the parishes of Little Hallingbury and Takeley, and covers 1,049 acres of woodland, grassland with trees, lake and marsh. It is approximately 40 minutes north east of London by car, just off Junction 8 of the M11 motorway. Bishop's Stortford and...

     near the village of Great Hallingbury.
  • On 6 February 2000, an Ariana Afghan Airlines
    Ariana Afghan Airlines
    Ariana Afghan Airlines Co. Ltd. is the oldest and the national airline of Afghanistan, and is currently the largest Afghan airline, headquartered in Kabul...

     Boeing 727
    Boeing 727
    The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

     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.
  • On 27 February 2002, a Ryanair
    Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline. Its head office is at Dublin Airport and its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airport....

     Boeing 737–800
    Boeing 737 Next Generation
    The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as Boeing 737NG, is the name given to the -600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 after the introduction of the -300/-400/-500 Classic series. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners...

     aircraft operating Ryanair Flight 296 from Dublin
    Dublin Airport
    Dublin Airport, , is operated by the Dublin Airport Authority. Located in Collinstown, in the Fingal part of County Dublin, 18.4 million passengers passed through the airport in 2010, making it the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland, followed by Cork and Shannon...

     to Stansted was evacuated shortly after landing when ground staff observed smoke from one of the engines. Subsequent investigations found that the likely cause of the incident was smoking oil from a broken bearing as there was no sign of fire damage. Although the aircraft was fully evacuated within 90 seconds, the air crew struggled to open the emergency doors, and The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch
    Air Accidents Investigation Branch
    The Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigates air accidents in the United Kingdom. It is a branch of the Department for Transport and is based on the grounds of Farnborough Airport near Aldershot, Rushmoor, Hampshire.-History:...

     recommended changes to training procedures for air-crew to allow better handling of similar situations in future.


The film Get Him to the Greek
Get Him to the Greek
Get Him to the Greek is a 2010 American comedy film written, produced, and directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand. The film was released on June 4, 2010. Get Him to the Greek is a spin-off sequel of Stoller's 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, reuniting director...

 was filmed 2009 August, outside and inside the Stansted Airport

The show Mile High
Mile High
Mile High is a British television drama based on the lives of the cabin crew members of "fresh!", a budget airline based in London. The name of the show comes from the "Mile High Club". The show was broadcast on Sky1 from 2003 to 2005.-Background:...

 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.

The recent TV mockumentary Come Fly With Me
Come Fly with Me (2010 TV series)
Come Fly with Me is a British mockumentary television comedy series created by and starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams. Narrated by Lindsay Duncan, the series launched on 25 December 2010 on BBC One and BBC One HD...

 was filmed at Stansted in late 2010.

A documentary called 'Stansted: The Inside Story' follows the daily workings of the airport.

Other productions recently filmed at Stansted Airport include Last Chance Harvey
Last Chance Harvey
Last Chance Harvey is a 2008 American romantic drama film written and directed by Joel Hopkins. The screenplay focuses on two lonely people who tentatively forge a relationship over the course of three days...

, Flight 93
United 93 (film)
United 93 is a 2006 fact-based historical drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Paul Greengrass that chronicles events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked during the September 11 attacks...

, London Dreams, and Bugs
Bugs (TV series)
Bugs was a British television drama series which ran for four series from April 1995 to August 1999. The programme, a mixture of action/adventure and science-fiction, involved a team of specialist independent crime-fighting technology experts, who faced a variety of threats based around computers...


Adverts including a Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

 advert (starring Patrick Stewart and Julie Walters) and a is an online travel and leisure retailer. The company was founded by Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman in 1998 and became an icon of the UK internet boom of the late 1990s, floating at the peak of the dot com bubble and trading on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol...

 advert were also filmed at Stansted Airport.

See also

External links

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