A Planning Inspectorate (PINS) hearing being held today (October 17) will determine whether Stansted Airport will be granted permission to expand its passenger terminal by the equivalent of approximately three football pitches.

In addition to a three-bay extension to the existing passenger building and partial demolition of the Track Transit System (TTS) which ferries visitors between the main terminal and departure and arrival gates, the proposal includes the construction of three replacement skylink walkways and a new baggage handling building.

If planning permission is granted, this prospective work would create an additional 52,455 square metres of new floor space, with an increased footprint of around 16,500 square metres.

With the planned extension, Stansted Airport seeks to improve its “constrained” capacity and provision of retail and food outlets, and increase its space and ability to process up to 43 million passengers per year.

However, there are no current proposals to increase the number of flights to and from the airport.

The consultation period for the proposal ended on September 22. Neither Uttlesford District Council, Essex County Council nor Hertfordshire County Council have objected to the application, and have given plans their support.


After the application was first put forward in July, managing director of Stansted Airport Gareth Powell said that if planning permission is granted, the extension will create a "much more spacious and relaxing terminal environment providing space where and when it’s needed".

"The investment we plan to make will enhance facilities for all our airlines, from short-haul low-cost to long-haul full-service carriers, enabling us to continue playing an essential role serving passengers across London and the East of England and offering the best possible choice of destinations during this next phase of our development."

It is estimated that the increased retail and service provision will create over 5,000 new jobs, with the airport’s economic contribution doubling to around £2 billion annually.