Public transport remains the number one choice for London Stansted Airport passengers
London Stansted’s five years of successful passenger growth under MAG ownership and its plans to and transform the door to door passenger experience were the focus of this year’s annual Stansted Area Transport Forum conference.
Over 150 delegates from local authorities, transport providers, airlines, businesses and industry gathered at the Radisson Blu Hotel to hear how Stansted has added over nine million passengers a year since 2013 and still maintained its position as UK’s number one airport for public transport use. Over 12.5 million passengers now use rail, coach or bus to access the airport each year – more than Luton, Birmingham, East Midlands and Manchester airports combined.
London Stansted’s Chief Executive Officer, Ken O’Toole (pictured), set out how the airport’s continued growth over the next decade will play a critical role in improving global connectivity and providing a greater choice of international destinations for passengers across the Eastern region and London while building on the airport’s excellent track record for developing public transport access options.
Mr O’Toole and Stansted’s Transformation Director, Paul Willis, also provided updates on the airport’s ambitious five-year investment programme to transform airport facilities, the centrepiece being a new £130 million arrivals terminal which will make Stansted the only UK airport to operate dedicated arrivals and departures terminals.
Ken O’Toole said: “The last five years have been an incredibly exciting time for London Stansted, a period where we have reversed the airport’s fortunes and marked the beginning of a new era. We have increased passenger numbers by over nine million, more than doubled the number of airlines and announced the launch on new routes to Dubai, New York, Boston, Toronto and Washington from this spring.
“During this period, it has been a brilliant achievement for Stansted to continue to hold the position as the number one major airport in the UK for public transport use by passengers and a great tribute to this Forum and all its hard work and determination.
“In the last year alone, through our public transport levy, we have invested £100,000 into our partnership with Arriva to provide the next generation of energy efficient buses on key routes to Bishop’s Stortford and Harlow. We have also provided £150,000 to support the Airport Commuter Centre and travel card which has helped push the number of staff using public transport to around one third of the airport population.
“To build on these successes and take the airport to the next level, it’s vital we plan ahead to make best use of our existing runway capacity and transform the passenger experience. We recently submitted a planning application to grow passenger numbers with a commitment to do so within our current flight and noise limits, and kicked-off our £600 million transformation project to keep pace with growing demand.
“Increasing the number of passengers we serve to 43 million over the next decade will require close collaboration with all transport providers, and an integral part of our transformation and growth plans is to ensure these passengers also have a first-class door-to-door experience with our partners.
“We are already ahead of the curve in many areas. For example, brand new, longer Stansted Express trains with more seats will start to be introduced from next year; coach routes are growing in choice and frequency and improvements to local roads and highways are gathering pace.
“As we grow there is a need to work more closely together to maintain our number one airport spot for public transport use and today is a great opportunity to share views, ideas and help shape Stansted’s future.”
Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Greater Anglia said :“We’re pleased to be working in close partnership with Stansted Airport to encourage even more people to take the train to connect with their flights.
“Last year saw the Stansted Express achieve its highest-ever share of journeys to and from the airport with over 30% of travellers accessing the airport by train. Customer satisfaction with the Stansted Express is at 93% and during 2019/20 we will introduce brand new trains on the service, which will offer an even higher quality service with more seats and superfast wifi, to provide a further step change as the airport continues to thrive and passenger numbers increase still further.”
London Stansted is London's third-busiest airport, currently serving around 22 million passengers a year. The airport is ideally located in between the global tech and life science hubs of London and Cambridge.