Stansted Airport expansion plan approved by council

Stansted AirportImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Stansted Airport wants to boost passenger numbers from 35 million to 43 million a year

Plans to increase the number of passengers using Stansted Airport have been approved.

Uttlesford council's planning committee backed proposals for nine new stands, which will allow the Essex airport to handle 43 million people a year - up from the current cap of 35 million.

Ken O'Toole, the airport's chief executive, said the expansion would help create 5,000 extra jobs.

The government will now have to rubber-stamp the council's decision.

The approval was decided by a casting vote from committee chairman Alan Mills after the vote was split.

Image caption,
Uttlesford District Council members met to discuss the expansion of Stansted Airport

Campaigners said the move would pave the way for a 44% increase in flights and 66% more passengers, when compared to current levels.

The council said that in order to reduce noise from the additional air traffic, it would consider bringing in an injunction that would force airlines to use quieter planes.

Highways England also said that work on a £10m interim scheme to improve access between the M11, A120 and the airport would begin in 2019 and take approximately two years.

An additional scheme to further improve Junction 8 of the M11 will take place after 2033.

Brian Ross, from the Stop Stansted Expansion group, said at the meeting approving the application would cause "environmental vandalism".

Earlier this week, Stansted announced it had enjoyed its busiest ever October, with more than 2.5 million passengers - an increase of 8.8% on 2017.

It is the fifth time the airport has applied to expand in the last 30 years.

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