Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 12°C

Search
Suffolk Business Awards 2018 Tickets

Stop Stansted Expansion group claims Government forecasts cast doubt on case for raising passenger cap

PUBLISHED: 15:12 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:55 07 November 2017

The main terminal at Stansted Airport.
Picture: Stansted Airport

The main terminal at Stansted Airport. Picture: Stansted Airport

Archant

Campaigners opposed to an increase in the cap on passengers numbers at Stansted claim that new Government forecasts for growth in air travel undermine the case for expansion put forward by the airport’s owner.

Aircraft parking stands at Stansted Airport.
Picture: blueskyuav.co.uk Aircraft parking stands at Stansted Airport. Picture: blueskyuav.co.uk

The Stop Stansted Expansion group points to figures in the Department for Transport’s latest UK Aviation Forecasts document which include a “central forecast” of 31m for annual passengers numbers at Stansted in 2030 - within the current cap of 35m.

Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is seeing to have the cap lifted to 43m passengers a year, arguing that the increase is necessary so that spare runway capacity at Stansted can be used to meet growing demand for air travel in the decade or more before an additional runway can be completed at Heathrow.

But SSE says the Department for Transport (DfT) forecasts show that, if the new runway at Heathrow is completed in the next 10 years, passenger numbers at Stansted could actually decline, from around 24m in the past year to 22m in 2030, with the present 35m cap not being reached until 2043.

SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “MAG’s overstatement of potential demand to secure support for expansion is nothing more than an opportunistic ploy. It is designed to take advantage of a lull during Government consultations on the future of aviation and to try to rush through permissions that might otherwise be restricted once the new aviation policy emerges towards the end of 2018.”

An aerial view of Stansted Airport.

Picture: blueskyuav.co.uk An aerial view of Stansted Airport. Picture: blueskyuav.co.uk

He added: “MAG has presented its case as if failure to concede a further tranche of expansion would somehow compromise the rights of the travelling public as well as the UK economy, when the Government’s own figures show this to be far from the truth.”

However, the DfT report states that the purpose of the forecasts “is primarily in informing longer term strategic policy rather than in providing detailed forecasts at each individual airport in the short term”.

It says the overall national forecast is subject to a level uncertainty, which is all the greater when applied to individual airports.

The report also says that the forecasts aim to reflect current planning restrictions and “should not be considered a cap on the development of individual airports”.

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said that its growth over the past five years had “significantly exceeded” previous projections from both the Government and the Airports Commission, effectively putting it 10 years ahead of where official forecasts said it would be.

“Unfortunately, the Government’s recently published forecasts suffer from the same fundamental flaws as their previous forecasts, in particular their failure to take account of commercial drivers that have delivered the exceptionally strong growth for Stansted Airport and its low cost carriers, such as highly competitive air fares and long term commercial agreements with airlines,” he added.

“For that reason we welcome the DfT’s acceptance that the purpose of its recently published forecasts is not to provide detailed projections for each individual airport, and the recognition that other forecasts may be more appropriate in informing local planning decisions.

“Looking to the future, our independently prepared traffic forecasts show continued strong growth at Stansted, with the airport serving 35m passengers in 2023. These forecasts provide the airport with the business case for the substantial investment in new passenger facilities that we will be making over the coming years.”

Relatives of a teenager killed in Ipswich have issued a warning to young people about becoming involved in knife crime and gang culture and called for more to be done to stop violence in the town.

Are you among the many people pictured from the Great Ipswich Play Day at Landseer Park in 1981?

Dedicated staff at Colchester Hospital have been heralded as new figures show the trust has smashed the national A&E waiting time target for the third month in a row.

Police are appealing for information after a woman’s handbag was stolen from her car while she was driving in Ipswich.

More people than ever before are travelling on the rail lines in East Suffolk, new figures reveal.

Bosses at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich have turned around plummeting visitor numbers from 12 months ago to record soaring entry and income.

Police and ambulance were called to the scene in North Hill following reports of a single vehicle collision.

A group of campaigners set on making Needham Market station accessible for all were invited to Westminster yesterday for a formal meeting at the Department for Transport.

The Great Get Together, which has been inspired by former Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox, is taking place at Northgate High School, in Ipswich, tomorrow.

A man has avoided going straight to jail for selling counterfeit goods on Facebook.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24