London Stansted Airport (STN) has received permission from Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, November 14th to increase its annual passenger cap from 35 million to 43 million. The approval is a major step forward in the airport's continuous development programme and is, according to the airport's management team, vital to enable it to grow during the next decade.

Now that the local council has approved the raising of the cap, the application will now be considered by the Government for final approval, which is expected without interference.

"We are delighted that Uttlesford District Council has today approved our planning application to enable the airport to grow over the next decade. This will boost our region’s economic growth and deliver 5,000 additional jobs at London Stansted Airport." Said Ken O’ Toole, Chief Executive Officer of London Stansted.

The decision now gives the airport, its airline partners and other ancillary service providers the long-term clarity needed to plan for the next decade and beyond. It will also make it easier for businesses to make further investment decisions at the airport which will be of great benefit to the local community.

'Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group had claimed the approval would result in the airport being able to handle 66% more passengers with 44% more flights compared to the previous year with increased noise and pollution. However, the airport disputes this, as much of the expansion will enable the airport to make the best use of capacity, supporting international flights, including more long-haul routes. The growth is therefore expected to be delivered within existing flights limits and a smaller noise footprint than previous permissions required.

Earlier this month the airport reported that it just enjoyed the busiest October in its history with more than 2.5 million passengers passing through the airport during the month, an increase of 8.8% or 205,000 passengers over 2017. "The record growth we have once again seen in October, and during the five years of MAG’s (Manchester Airport Group) ownership of London Stansted, is testament to our ambition and commitment to re-energising the airport and making it more attractive to airlines and passengers." O’ Toole said.