Azara Blog: Stansted needs another runway

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Date published: 2005/05/04

The Cambridge Evening News says:

Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion claims the airport's existing runway could cope with demand for at least the next 10 years, because of a slowdown in growth.

Stop Stansted Expansion said passenger numbers grew by 9 per cent during the year ended March 31 compared to 16 per cent in the previous 12 months.

It added that Stansted was not expected to reach the current planning limit of 25 million passengers a year until 2008/09.

SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: "The slowdown at Stansted is further evidence that it is regional airports which are now seeing the most rapid growth in air travel.

"This allows much-needed breathing space at Stansted and there is now ample time for BAA to produce a detailed airport master plan and a full environmental impact assessment before submitting any further planning applications."

A spokeswoman for Stansted Airport said there was a natural decrease in growth following a rapid boom.

"The larger the figures get, the smaller the percentage increase," she said.

She said the Government wanted the second runway at Stansted to be up and running by 2012 and the airport is expected to reach around 35 million - the capacity for a single runway - by the period 2014/15.

A disingenuous argument from SSE, since 2008 is tomorrow in airport planning terms. It will take a decade or more to get another runway up and running, because of the endless dragging out of the planning application by the opponents of expansion. The planning process in the UK is a joke. Of course nobody really knows how many passengers there will be in 2015, especially given that airplane fuel will eventually be taxed (it's hard to believe it has not happened already, given how addicted politicans are to tax) and that will reduce the possible numbers.

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