Local airport enjoying flying success
Witham MP Priti Patel met with the Managing Director of Stansted Airport Gareth Powell, to discuss the airport’s strategic importance to the region, their role enabling economic growth and their expansion plans for the site.
Priti is a longstanding supporter of the airport’s ambitions to expand the terminal, and during the meeting Priti was able to discuss the plans in detail to see the extra capacity and facilities that the expansion would create for passengers using the airport. The significant success the airport has seen post pandemic was also discussed, as over the festive period the airport saw its busiest December on record with 2 million passengers passing through the terminal doors. Over past 12 months, 27.7 million passengers have been through Stansted, an increase of 24% on the previous year, and Stansted has been London’s fastest recovering airport.
During their conversation, Gareth thanked Priti for her successful campaign to persuade the government to return the Stansted Express to the full four trains per hour service. Priti also discussed the expansion of international routes to London Stansted, which is the third largest airport in the London system and the second biggest gateway to the capital for European visitors. Indeed, because they have the largest European route network of any major airport in the UK, the airport is unusual for its high proportion of inbound traffic (circa 40 per cent of the total). This makes the airport a major enabler of tourism and it is estimated that inbound traffic supports at least 24,000 jobs in London.
Priti said: “I was delighted to visit Stansted Airport again, and to meet with Gareth to discuss the exciting plans for the airport. London Stansted is a key component that makes the East of England an economic powerhouse, and I am pleased to be able to support them in their bid for expansion.
Stansted’s recovery from the pandemic has been incredibly successful and I’m delighted that after my discussions with government, the Stansted Express is back to running four trains per hour. I am now lobbying ministers to include London Stansted in the contactless travel zone making it easier for passengers to travel to and from the airport.
This was also an opportunity for me to once again thank Stansted for their continued support of my local jobs fair which allows young people in the Witham constituency to explore career opportunities, and with Stansted being one of the biggest employers in the local area, they are hugely popular with the attendees, and I look forward to welcoming London Stansted to the fair again this year.”