| FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where? Why? What? How? Who? When? True or False? Abbreviations Search
Where can I find information about SSE's engagement with the Airports Commission?
Where can I find information about Stansted Airport flight paths?
Where can I find information about night flights at Stansted Airport?
Where can I complain about aircraft noise at Stansted?
Where can I buy SSE's Community Calendar?
Click here for information and order form
Where can I find information about Stansted Airport's impact upon climate change?
Where can I find copies of documents from the 2007 Public Inquiry?
Where is the Stop Stansted Expansion wood?
At Broxted Hill - Ordnance Survey grid reference 587248. This is precisely where it was intended to position the north-east end of a second runway. This wood was planted by SSE volunteers in 2004.
Where can I find out about SSE presentations to Schools?
Where can I see photos of listed buildings that were threatened by expansion (many are now owned by Stansted Airport)?
Click here and also see SSE press release 419
Where can I obtain copies of posters, car window stickers, etc?
Click here or email or telephone (01279 870558) the Campaign Office
Where can I see the latest campaign news?
Click here to go to a summary of recent news items
Where can I see copies of old news items?
Click here to go to the news archive
Where can I find a copy of all SSE's Press Releases?
Where can I see photos of campaign events, etc?
Click here to go to SSE's photo gallery
Where can I see campaign cartoons, etc?
Click here to go to SSE's cartoon gallery
Where can I see the websites of other campaign groups?
Click here for links to other airport campaign groups and also to local community websites
Why waste all this effort to oppose something that is inevitable at some stage?
Most of the reasoned arguments are against expansion, and SSE will continue to press them for the good of the community around the airport and for the sake of future generations.
Regardless of any policy decided upon by the Department for Transport, Governments do not build runways, nor do they pay for the additional infrastructure (roads, rail, etc) that is needed because of airport expansion. The onus would lie with the Manchester Airport Group (MAG), which owns Stansted Airport, to raise the necessary funds, to obtain planning permission and to ensure no UK or European environmental legislation will be breached. They would once again face massive opposition.
Few major airlines want to use Stansted, and the no frills airlines do not want to pay increased landing fees which any major expansion would lead to.
The financial risks associated with such a large scale investment for a questionable return would deter investors from risking more of their money on an airport that has never earned a commercial rate of return on capital employed since it was privatised in 1987 (nor indeed when it was state-owned).
Stansted was first proposed as a major airport in 1965, but the local community, led by SSE's parent body NWEEHPA, fought off second runway plans then and in the following decades at two public inquiries and through a Royal Commission. The fight to prevent the threat recurring continues today.
Why is Stop Stansted Expansion putting jobs at risk?
No existing jobs are at risk. The local area has relatively low unemployment and in recent years the airport has had trouble recruiting staff from within the local area. There is also an argument that cheap flights to continental European destinations for holidays and short leisure breaks, take business away from the UK tourism industry and thereby put UK jobs at risk. It's also worth remembering that the flights are cheap because airlines pay no fuel duty and no VAT, unlike the cost of driving to (say) the Cotswolds, Scotland or the Lake District.
What is all the fuss about?
Click here for a brief overview
What can I do?
Click here to see what anyone can do
What is SSE?
Click here for an overview
What is NWEEHPA?
Click here to read about the origins of NWEEHPA and SSE
What organisations support SSE?
Click here to view a list
What impact does aviation have on health?
Click here for the Health Matters page
What is "Demand Management"?
SSE, and other organizations opposed to the unconstrained growth of air travel, argue that the Government should act to slow the growth in demand to a level that can be sustained by the environment and by the UK economy.
What is meant by an offshore airport?
During the period leading up to the publication of the 2003 White Paper, a number of suggestions for "offshore airports" were made for various locations in the Thames Estuary, connected by rail and/or road to car parks and other facilities onshore. All were dismissed in the White Paper as being too costly. The main advantage would have been that take-off and landing could be over the sea, thus disturbing fewer people. However, these sites were generally close to major bird nesting sites so had potential danger for both birds and aircraft safety. Furthermore, climate change impacts from aviation emissions would still be created, wherever the site. In recent months similar offshore airport proposals have been put forward, more so by architects and politicians than by the aviation industry, and these proposals continue to ignore both birds and climate change. Many argue that they also continue to ignore the financial realities and simply could not be made commercially viable.
What level of airport noise is permitted at night?
Night time operational limits, based on numbers of flights and types of aircraft, are prescribed by the Department for Transport (DfT) on a five yearly basis. Papers relating to the most recent DfT consultation can be accessed here.
What is the passenger throughput at Stansted Airport?
The most commonly quoted measurement is millions of passengers per annum ("mppa") and, in 2016, Stansted handled 24.3 mppa. Stansted has planning approval to handle 35mppa, 44% more than in 2016.
What is the passenger throughput of other major UK airports?
In 2016, Heathrow handled 75.7 million passengers, Gatwick 43.1m, Manchester 25.6m, Luton 14.6m and Birmingham 11.6m. Including Stansted, these are the UK's seven busiest airports and in 2016 they handled 77% of the UK airports' total throughput of 268 million passengers.
What is the level of freight movement at Stansted compared to other freight hubs?
Heathrow is by far the UK's busiest airport for freight, handling 1.54 million tonnes in 2016 (65% of the UK total), almost all of this (95%) being 'bellyhold' freight on scheduled passenger aircraft. Stansted is the UK's third busiest freight airport, handling 223,000 tonnes in 2016. East Midlands is the UK's second busiest freight airport handling 300,000 tonnes in 2016 and, like Stansted, virtually all of this was carried on specialised cargo aircraft rather than bellyhold.
What are the comparative numbers of total Air Transport Movements (ATMs)?
In 2016 Stansted handled 163,895 ATMs (93% of which were passenger aircraft and 7% cargo aircraft). By comparison, Heathrow handled 473,199 ATMs in 2016, Gatwick 280,089 and Manchester 184,553. The planning consent granted to Stansted in 2008 permits 264,000 ATMs in any 12 month period.
Why does SSE still need money?
While the great majority of the input on the campaign is provided by unpaid volunteers, SSE maintains a campaign office and has routine overheads to meet every month.In addition, external consultants are engaged from time to time where relevant expertise - such as specific technical, legal and planning advice - is not available from our volunteer base. Click here for a summary of SSE's income and expenditure.
How big would a two runway airport be?
The proposals set out in BAA's 2008 planning application would have increased the size of the airport by 50% to around 14 square kilometers. This area is similar to that enclosed by London's Circle Line.
How real is climate change?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ("IPCC") was established in 1988 by the United Nations to increase understanding of climate change and assess its likely impacts and options for adaption and mitigation. The IPCC's reports are generally regarded as authoritative. Its latest report, issued in 2007, stated that "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and rising global average sea level". The report concluded that there was an over 90% probability that the prime cause of global warming was greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity.
Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases now exceed by far the natural range of such concentrations over the last 650,000 years. Estimates for the anticipated temperature increase in the 21st century range from 1.8 degrees centigrade to 4.0 degrees. It is generally acknowledged that the maximum safe level is an increase of 2 degrees.
How does aviation contribute to climate change?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from flights account for approximately 7% of the total CO2 emissions in the UK. However, planes flying at high altitudes also emit a number of other substances that contribute to global warming. These include nitrous oxides, water vapour and the formation of contrails and cirrus clouds. The effect of these additional emissions is still the subject of scientific research but it is generally accepted that they, at least, double the effect of CO2 alone. Carbon dioxide emissions from aviation in the UK have increased significantly over the last 25 years from 12.5 million tonnes in 1985 to 21.5 million tonnes in 1995, 33.3 million tonnes in 2010 and a projected 39.4 million tonnes by 2020. The advice of the independent Committee on Climate Change is that UK aviation emissions must be no higher than 37.5 million tonnes of CO2 in 2050.
The government is committed to reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and to stabilise aviation emissions by 2050 at 2005 levels. The Committee on Climate Change has calculated that to achieve this result then passenger numbers cannot increase by more than 60% over the period, a figure that is much smaller than the predictions for unconstrained growth over the period. Aircraft are continually becoming more fuel efficient but these gains are typically about 1% per annum and are therefore far outstripped by the increases in air travel. The industry is experimenting with the use of biofuels, which have been trialled on a number of flights, typically with some engines using biofuel and others using conventional fuel. There are, of course, considerable doubts as to how biofuels can be produced in a sustainable manner. The Government does not expect biofuels to have a significant impact as an alternative to conventional aviation fuel in the near future. As from 1 January 2012 air travel within the EU was incorporated into the EU Emissions Trading System. The intention is to reduce aviation emissions by 5% per annum compared to 2004-06 levels but this is dependent on extending the scheme to all flights - worldwide - which depart from an EU airport. This aspect is facing considerable international opposition, especially from the US, China and India, and it is too early to judge what the eventual outcome will be.
SSE has estimated that Stansted Airport will emit the equivalent of 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2017. In 2008, in the supporting documents for its second runway planning application, BAA estimated that this figure would rise to around 12 million tonnes if full use of the existing runway were allowed and to 23 million tonnes - more than the CO2 emissions from 4 million homes - if a second runway were built. You can see SSE's calculations here.
How can I join Stop Stansted Expansion?
Click here to print a Membership Application form
How can I help Stop Stansted Expansion?
Click here to see what anyone can do
How can I complain about aircraft or airport noise?
If you are disturbed by a particularly noisy flight, please complain via the form on this site. Please treat this service responsibly - do not give the Airport the opportunity to discredit the number of complaints received from the general public. You can also complain direct to the Airport on the 24 hours freephone complaints line - 0800 243 788.
You should receive a detailed reply if your complaint refers to an incident involving an outgoing flight that was also detected as exceeding the noise limits when passing over the noise sensors at each end of the runway, 6.5 km from the start of take off roll. There are, in practice, no effective noise limits on arriving aircraft, other than a prohibition on the very noisiest aircraft using Stansted at night.
If you do not receive a reply, your complaint will still be logged and added to the quarterly statistics which are presented to Stansted Airport Consultative Committee (STACC), a body that monitors the airport.
How can I find out more about Stansted Airport's Noise Complaints procedures?
Ring the Freephone complaints line (0800 243 788) during office hours and ask for the leaflet describing the work of the Flight Evaluation Unit.
How can I report the smell of aviation fuel?
Click here to open up the complaint form
How can I receive SSE's latest enews?
Click here to receive regular email news updates
How should I write to the Press?
Click here for guidance on how to write to the Press
How can I contact the SSE office?
How can I contact the SSE webmaster?
How can I print my own copies of posters?
Click here to download a poster ready for printing on A4 paper or card
When did events take place?
Click here to see the Timeline
TRUE or FALSE?
Do aircraft dump fuel as they approach to land?
We have been advised that they don't, but some people under the flightpath believe they do - and some say they can see the aviation fuel on their fishponds and cars and see it coming out of the back of the plane. Perhaps someone could come up with a suitable explanation.
Is it true that there is already a second runway at Stansted?
No. During the war, the airport had three runways, in a triangular formation. One is the present runway, but the others have been built on and have no possible use as runways. See letter from the Managing Director of BAA Stansted on 30 January 2003.
AEF - Aviation Environment Federation
ATM - Air Transport Movements - number of plane take-offs or landings
ATWP - Air Transport White Paper ("The Future of Air Transport", Dft, 2003)
BAA - formerly British Airports Authority.
CAA - Civil Aviation Authority - the UK's independent aviation regulator
CMA - Competition and Markets Authority
DfT - Department for Transport - the Government department responsible for aviation
ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organisation - founded in 1944 by the Chicago Convention, an international agreement that also outlawed tax on aviation fuel
IPCC - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established in 1988 by the United Nations to assess the risk of human-induced climate change. The IPCC's reports are generally regarded as authoritative.
IPPR - Institute for Public Policy Research
LAQ - Local Air Quality
MAG - Manchester Airports Group - which owns Stansted, Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports.
mppa - Millions of passenger-movements per annum - a return trip counts as 2 passenger movements
NATS - National Air Traffic Services Ltd - provides air traffic control services to aircraft flying in UK airspace
NFC - No Frills Carrier
NWEEHPA - North West Essex and East Hertfordshire Preservation Association - SSE's parent body
PATM - Passenger Air Transport Movement
SSE - Stop Stansted Expansion is a working group of NWEEHPA - see here for further details
STACC - Stansted Airport Consultative Committee - a consultative body set up under government legislation to inform and consult on airport operational matters. The committee meets four times a year and includes representatives from the airport, local authorities and businesses, travel and passenger organisations and NWEEHPA.
STAL - Stansted Airport Ltd - the owner and operator of Stansted Airport, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MAG