Airlines opposed to expansion

AIRLINES are against major expansion of Stansted airport, it has been revealed.


Felixstowe editor>

AIRLINES are against major expansion of Stansted airport, it has been revealed.

Companies operating out of the airport do not support BAA's plans to use the current runway to its maximum capacity.

The proposals - currently before a public inquiry - could eventually mean as many as 75,000 more passenger and cargo flights, handling another ten million passengers.

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Many of those flights would go over Suffolk and add to the noise problems already being suffered since airspace was increased over the county by 30 per cent three years ago.

The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign is seeking to keep flights to their current limits because expansion of the airport will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.

In some places the sound of the jets is even now a near constant drone as three or even four planes can be seen in the sky at once with the sound of one merging into the arrival of the next, ruining the county's peaceful and tranquil nature.

At the public inquiry, airlines - the carriers who pay BAA to fly from the hub - called for a 30 million passengers per year limit.

The figure is a compromise between the operator's desire to increase capacity to 35m passengers a year and Uttlesford District Council and Stop Stansted Expansion's claim that the current 25m cap should be kept.

Ian Clayton, Easyjet's regulatory affairs manager and secretary of the Stansted Airlines Consultative Committee (SACC), told inspector Alan Boyland: “The SACC supports expansion at Stansted, provided it is timely, efficient and subject to consultation and agreement.

“However, it cannot support BAA's application to remove the passenger limit or to increase it to 35 million passengers per annum (mppa).

“The SACC proposes a passenger limit of 30mppa. This would ensure that capacity would not be constrained while future development could be considered fully and properly."

Cost is at the centre of the airlines' concerns.

“A 30mppa limit would protect airlines and passengers from further excessive airport charges and would prevent inefficient capital expenditure, while any future development of Stansted would not be prejudiced by decisions that do not yet need to be made,” said Mr Clayton.

Airlines fear increasing charges to cover the cost of expansion will drive down demand for air travel and hit their business, while increasing the number of flight slots - particularly at peak times - would allow competitors to start using the airport.

Are you concerned at the increasing drone of jet planes in Suffolk's skies? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail


Our No More Stansted campaign agrees with and supports Stansted Airport at its current flight and passenger limits.

But the campaign is against expansion of the airport which will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.

It is against proposals being discussed currently at a public inquiry to increase the number of passengers by ten million a year on between 23,000 and 75,000 extra flights.

It is against the building of a second runway which would more than double the current flights - another 300,000 a year.

The campaign wants a full review of the pollution being caused by the jets - both the impact on ozone layer and also on the environment at ground level - and of the increasing noise being caused by the aircraft 24/7.

We want assurances that planes will not be allowed to fly lower than the present lowest levels across Suffolk.

There must also be a full review of the current flightpaths to cut the noise afflicting communities and to look at the possibility of moving flight corridors on a regular basis so that the same communities do not suffer noise nuisance incessantly.