Home Page Link Thaxted - under the present flightpath and threatened with quadrupled activity Takeley's 12th century parish church, close to proposed second runway Harcamlow Way, Bamber's Green - much of the long distance path and village would disappear under Runway 2 Clavering - typical of the Uttlesford villages threatened by urbanisation
Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport


2000BC -  Neolithic settlement on part of what is now Stansted Airport

75BC -  Iron Age settlement on part of what is now Stansted Airport

50AD -  Romans settled in the area, close to Stane Street (now the B1256), the major highway from the Roman capital of Britain, now called Colchester

1086 -  Stansted Mountfitchet and other local settlements were recorded in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book

1903 -  Wilbur and Orville Wrightmade the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA

1942 -  Stansted Airport was established as a wartime base for the US Air Force. The area had previously been farmland for hundreds of years

1944 -  Chicago Convention signed "in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner". Thisestablished protection for the fledgling aviation industry, including exemption fromtaxation.

1953 -  39 passengers and crew died when a York aeroplane disappeared over the Atlantic on a flight from Stansted to Jamaica

1954 -  During the Cold War, the runway was lengthened to accommodate B52 bombers, making it one of the longest in the UK

1963 -  First proposal that Stansted should become London's 3rd airport

1965 -  North West Essex and East Hertfordshire Preservation Association (NWEEHPA) was founded to co-ordinate resistance to the proposed airport expansion

1966 -  Following an independent inquiry, the Chelmsford Enquiry, Inspector G.D.Blake concluded that it would be a calamity to site a major airport at Stansted, and that there was no national necessity to do so

1967 -  Government White Paper confirmed that Stansted would be London's third airport

1970 -  After outcry at the 1967 decision and a further exhaustive two year inquiry, the Roskill Commission recommended that London's third airport be sited at Cublington in Buckinghamshire. One member of the Commission, Colin Buchanan, recommended Maplin, off the Essex coast of the Thames estuary.

1971 -  Government chose Maplin but the plan was abandoned during the oil crisis of 1973-74

1980 -  BAA, the owner of Stansted Airport, applied to increase Stansted throughput to 15 million passengers per annum (15mppa)

1983 -  American Space Shuttle "Enterprise" landed at Stansted on the back of a Boeing 747 during a promotional tour of Europe. Around 200,000 people flocked to see it.

1984 -  After a public inquiry (1981 to 1983) lasting 258 days, Inspector Graham Eyre recommended that the application to increase capacity on Stansted's single runway should be allowed only if Government guaranteed that throughput would never go beyond 25 million and that there would never be a 2nd runway.

1985 -  Government unreservedly accepted Eyre's recommendations and approval was given for Stansted to be developed up to 15 mppa, with a review at 8mppa

1991 -  Stansted's new terminal building, designed by Sir Norman Foster, was opened by The Queen

1989-90 -  CAA advised Government that air traffic in the south east would double by 2005 and that another runway would be needed at one of ten locations including Stansted. Local consultation took place on two close parallel runway options for Stansted but these were universally rejected in view of the assurances given by Government in the 1985 White Paper.

1991-93 -  The 'Runway Capacity To Serve The South East' (RUCATSE) panel was formed to decide which of the options would be adopted. It rapidly became clear that the two close parallel options for Stansted were not feasible and, without further public consultation, RUCATSE proceeded to examine the two runway option which had been firmly rejected in the 1985 White Paper. RUCATSE dismissed the Stansted option for much the same reasons that the Graham Eyre Inquiry had identified and recorded that a new runway was not likely to be needed there before 2015.

1997 -  Kyoto Protocol set international targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but excluded aviation

1997 -  Stansted handled 5 million passengers

1999 -  Permission granted for 15 million passengers per annum at Stansted

Dec 1999 -  Korean Airlines Boeing 747 crashed on take-off into Hatfield Forest with the loss of four lives

Feb 2000 -  Plane hijacked by Afghans landed at Stansted. Hostages held on board for several days

2000 -  Stansted handled 12 million passengers

July 2002 -  Department for Transport launched its national consultation "The future development of air transport in the UK", including options for up to 4 runways at Stansted, in the "South East Regional Air Services Study" (SERAS) section

Aug 2002 -  Stop Stansted Expansion campaign launched - 800 attended first public meeting at Stansted Mountfitchet School

Sep 2002 -  Runway Ramble and Rally at Easton Lodge attracted 2,000 participants

Nov 2002 -  89% of Uttlesford residents voted for no more runways in a poll that saw 69% of ballot papers returned

23 Nov 2002 -  London march and rally in Trafalgar Square against airport expansion, led by Jamie Oliver, organised by SSE and supported by campaign groups from Cliffe, Heathrow, Luton and Rugby

26 Nov 2002 -  Justice Maurice Kay ruled that the Department for Transport Consultation was unfair and should include options for developments at Gatwick following a judicial review challenge by SSE and others

2002 -  Stansted handled 16 million passengers, three times as many as in 1997

Jan 2003 -  Uttlesford District Council approved expansion of Stansted Airport to 25 mppa

27 Feb 2003 -  Department for Transport re-launched Airports Consultation, including options for expansion at Gatwick

16 Dec 2003 -  Government published the Air Transport White Paper, with policy support for a second Stansted runway. SSE pledged to continue the fight

Sep 2004 -  BAA stopped issuing free parking passes to MPs and MEPs following shareholder pressure stimulated by SSE

Feb 2005 -  Judicial Review of Air Transport White Paper initiated by SSE and others concluded that 2003 Air Transport White Paper went too far in prescribing a specific location for a second Stansted runway

June 2006 -  Takeover of BAA by an overseas consortium headed by Spanish company Ferrovial

November 2006 -  Uttlesford District Council rejected BAA's application for removal of the 25 million annual limit on the number of passengers using the airport. BAA appealed against the decision on the following day

2007 -  Five month Public Inquiry following BAA's appeal against UDC's rejection of unlimited passenger throughput on Stansted's single runway

2007 -  Passenger numbers peaked at 24 million (12 months to October)

2007 -  UK suffered a record 19.4 billion trade deficit on air travel, up from 2bn in 1995

March 2008 -  BAA submitted planning application for a second runway

October 2008 -  Government approves rise from 25 to 35 million passengers a year on Stansted's single runway

March 2009 -  High Court rejected SSE's challenge of Government's 35 million passenger decision

March 2009 -  Competition Commission ruled that BAA must sell Gatwick, then Stansted, and then either Edinburgh or Glasgow within two years

15 April 2009 -  Original planned start of Public Inquiry into BAA's application for a second runway - postponed March 2009 by Government

December 2009 -  Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds BAA's appeal against Competition Commission ruling on the grounds of apparent conflict of interest

February 2010 -  Secretary of State John Denham announced public inquiry into second runway could not start before General Election and asked BAA to advise him of its intentions

24 May 2010 -  BAA announced the withdrawal of its planning application for a second runway at Stansted

October 2010 -  Court of Appeal over-ruled the Dec 2009 decision by the Competition Appeal Tribunal

February 2011 -  Supreme Court ruled that BAA could not take its challenge any further

July 2011 -  Competition Commission confirmed, after a review, that its 2009 decision was still valid and that BAA must sell Stansted by December 2012

December 2011 -  BAA, having found another avenue for appealing against the Competition Commission's ruling that it must sell Stansted, takes it case back to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Jan 2012 -  BAA agreed to sell all residential property acquired as part of its strategy for further airport expansion

February 2012 -  Competition Appeals Tribunal rejects BAA's latest appeal over the forced sale of Stansted. BAA decides to go to the Court of Appeal.

July/August 2012 -  Court of Appeal rejects BAA's latest appeal over the forced sale of Stansted. BAA announces it will take its case to the Supreme Court but changes its mind four weeks later, concedes defeat and puts Stansted up for sale.

2011/2012 -  Second Stansted runway scheduled for completion in the 2003 Air Transport White Paper

September 2012 -  Government sets up 'Airports Commission', chaired by Sir Howard Davies. Its remit is "to identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term". The Commission is given until the summer of 2015 to complete its work and publish its final report.

October 2012 -  SSE submits its response to the Government's Draft Aviation Policy Framework

October 2012 -  The name BAA is dropped and Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Southampton and Stansted Airports operate solely under their own stand-alone brands

December 2012 -  The CAA announced that Stansted Airport should continue to be subject to economic regulation - an outcome for which SSE had pressed consistently

February 2013 -  Stansted Airport is sold to Manchester Airports Group

December 2013 -  Airports Commission publishes its interim report. Stansted is not on the short-list of options for a new runway in the period to 2030. Only Heathrow and Gatwick are short-listed. However, the Commission warns that "Stansted may however be a plausible option for any second additional runway in the 2040s".

July 2014 -  SSE makes its tenth evidence submission to the Airports Commission, providing a detailed response - focused on issues relating to Stansted - to the Commission's discussion paper on improving the utilisation of the UK's existing airport capacity.

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