Stansted sets out expansion plans

Airport owner BAA has put in a long-expected planning application for a huge expansion of Stansted, with a second runway and terminal. It wants both completed by 2015 as part of a £3.9 billion growth plan that would see London’s third airport handling 68 million passengers a year in 2030 - as many as Heathrow does today.

BAA said noise impacts had been reduced compared to the earlier version of the plan and fewer homes and listed buildings would have to be demolished. It also pledged to increase recycling and reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill compared to current levels while not increasing water consumption. The proposals continue to face heavy opposition.

Meanwhile, consultation on the Department for Transport’s expansion proposals for Heathrow - also involving a new runway and terminal (ENDS Report 395, pp 30-34 ) - closed at the end of February. Opposition campaigns have been mounting, with protest actions on top of the Houses of Parliament and a British Airways jet at Heathrow.

There has been growing criticism of the extensive collaboration between BAA, the airlines and the Department for Transport in drawing up the consultation document, during which they sought to minimise the projected environmental impacts. The Environment Agency’s official response to the consultation is also critical, saying it doubted the DfT’s claim that EU air quality limits would not be breached by Heathrow expansion.1

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