1942 – 1983


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”. This established protection for the fledgling aviation industry, including exemption from taxation.

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 third 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 review, the Chelmsford Inquiry, Inspector GD Blake concluded that it would be a calamity to site a major airport at Stansted and 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 near the mouth 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.

Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport