| Press Release - 28 July 2014
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR AN OPEN DEBATE ON STANSTED'S FUTURE
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is calling for an open debate about Stansted Airport's long term plan, due to be published this week. Manchester Airport Group ('MAG'), which bought Stansted from BAA 18 months ago, will publish its 'Sustainable Development Plan' (SDP) for Stansted, setting out what it intends to do with the airport over the next 20-25 years. The SDP will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version of the plan expected towards the end of the year.
SSE welcomes this initiative by MAG and wants to encourage maximum public participation in the consultation process. MAG will be making 'roadshow' presentations in a wide range of locations over the coming weeks and this will be an opportunity for local residents to let MAG know about any concerns they have about the current and future operation of the airport.
Importantly, it is understood that the SDP will be based on Stansted remaining as a single runway airport. This will be a great relief for the vast majority of local residents but it still leaves scope - within Stansted's existing planning permission - for the airport to handle almost twice as many passengers and twice as many flights as it does today.
Night flights have long been the main bone of contention for those living around the airport and beneath its flight paths where ambient noise levels are low. SSE wants to see a gradual phasing out of night flights at Stansted and this issue will be high on our agenda in the consultation on the SDP.
MAG's continued ownership of about 270 properties around the airport - mostly acquired in connection with the now-aborted second runway plans - is another highly contentious issue for many local communities around the airport, who want them returned to private ownership. The forthcoming consultation and roadshows will give those communities most affected an opportunity to persuade MAG to do the decent thing in this regard.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented "We welcome this consultation on MAG's long term plan for Stansted. It is being described as a 'Sustainable Development Plan' and we very much hope that's what it genuinely is. Provided it respects all the current planning limits and confirms MAG's commitment to Stansted continuing to be an 'Airport in the Countryside', there should be considerable scope for a constructive dialogue."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Stansted handled 17.8 million passengers and 131,900 Air Transport Movements (ATMs) last year. It has planning consent for 35 million passengers per annum ('mppa') and 264,000 ATMs. Stansted handled 24mppa in its peak year, 2006/07.
SSE submitted evidence to the Airports Commission last week (25 July 2014) in response to the Commission's Discussion Paper on 'Utilisation of the UK's Existing Airport Capacity'. Much of this SSE evidence is pertinent to the Stansted SDP – see the SSE Evidence here. This is SSE's eleventh evidence submission to the Commission – see the Airports Commission page here.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT
Peter Sanders, SSE Chairman - M 01799 520411; firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Ross, SSE - T 01279 814961; M 07850 937143; email@example.com
SSE Campaign Office, T 01279 870558; firstname.lastname@example.org