Stansted Airport puts new terminal plan on hold

Stansted arrivals terminal Image copyright Stansted Airport
Image caption An artist's impression of the new arrivals terminal, which has now been put on hold

Stansted Airport has put its new £150m arrivals terminal on hold while it reviews the plans.

Economic and political uncertainty, fresh demands from airlines, and delays in approval for further expansion are behind the rethink, bosses said.

The terminal was due to open in 2020, as part of an ongoing £600m plan to create capacity and improve facilities at the Essex airport.

Stansted is consulting with airlines to "future-proof" the building.

The airport said uncertainty over what border controls would be required after Brexit and wider economic doubts had also influenced the review.

It is reconsidering the interior design of the building, to ensure it can use new technologies and install facilities - such as passenger lounges - that will appeal to the long-haul operators it wants to attract.

Image copyright London Stansted
Image caption The new arrivals hall is central to the airport's hopes of increasing capacity

It has also been waiting for more than a year for approval from Uttlesford District Council for its plan to increase passenger numbers.

Stansted currently handles 28 million passengers a year, and has permission to increase capacity to 35 million. It wants to increase that number to 43 million.

Brian Ross, of campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion, said there had been a recent dip in passenger numbers at the airport.

"There are a bunch of reasons for it but the fact is that Stansted is in decline rather than moving ahead," he said.

"So why would they have any urgency to build a new arrivals terminal? There isn't that urgency."

The airport denied passenger numbers had been a factor in reviewing the terminal.

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