Stansted Airport

 

Stansted is a base for a number of major European low-cost carriers, being the largest base for low-cost airline Ryanair with over 100 destinations served by the airline. In 2012 it was the fourth busiest airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. Stansted’s runway is also used by private companies such as the Harrods Aviation terminal which is opposite the main terminal building and handles private jets and some state visits.

 

The airport is owned and operated by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which also owns and operates three other UK airports. MAG agreed to buy the airport from Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly BAA, on 18 January 2013, and the sale was completed for £1.5 billion on 28 February 2013.[4] BAA had been required to sell the airport following a ruling originally made by the Competition Commission in March 2009.

 

Stansted Airport has one main passenger terminal, near the village of Stansted Mountfitchet. There are three passenger satellites in which the departure gates are situated, one is connected to the main terminal by an air-bridge and the other two by the Stansted Airport Transit System people mover. Stansted prides itself on being the most expensive airport fora parking. In June 2013 it increased charges by 50 percent and has strict ‘no pay, no stopping’ policy

 

The terminal building was designed by Foster Associates with input from the structural engineer Peter Rice and features a “floating” roof, supported by a space frame of inverted-pyramid roof trusses, creating the impression of a stylised swan in flight. The base of each truss structure is a “utility pillar”, which provides indirect uplighting illumination and is the location for air-conditioning, water, telecommunications and electrical outlets. The layout of the airport was designed to provide an unobstructed flow for passengers to arrive at the short-stay car park, move through the check-in hall, go through security and on to the departure gates all on the same level.

 

From 1997 to 2007 Stansted saw rapid expansion of passenger numbers on the back of the boom in low cost air travel, peakinging the most at 24 million passengers in the 12 months to October 2007, but since then passenger numbers have been in decline. The passenger total in 2012 fell to 17.5 million, a 3.3% reduction compared with 2011.

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