So now the dust has settled, Stansted is making a play for the limelight with the news of plans for a £130m arrivals building as it bids to boost passenger numbers. It'll allow the airport to grow from 24m passengers a year to 35m by 2030, which is its current planning limit.
The airport has submitted a planning application for the building and has lofty ambitions: as well as allowing the airport to keep growing, the planned facility is designed to ensure that in the future the airport could serve around 43m passengers a year, as set out in its development plan from last year.
It'll mean for the first time, the airport will have separate buildings for arrivals and departures. It currently has up to 5,000 departing passengers passing through its doors every hour at peak times.
And, of course, set it up to provide more competition to the UK's biggest: Heathrow and Gatwick. The former is already at maximum capacity and the latter quickly approaching the same point.
Chief executive Andrew Cowan said:
Stansted is thriving as a national asset, forming a key component of the UK’s aviation infrastructure at a time when airport capacity in the country is at a premium.
Our investment will boost competition and enable the airport to play a bigger role in supporting economic growth, jobs and international connectivity across the East of England and London.
Here's what the building will look like:
Stansted in numbers:
- 24 million passengers per year
- Fourth busiest airport in the UK by passenger numbers - behind Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester
- 180+ destinations and 18 airlines
- 11,600 people employed on site