London Stansted Airport has outlined its plans to invest £35m (US$45m) over the next eight years in Uttlesford, the district surrounding the airport.
The investment includes mitigation measures that are part of the planning application submitted by Stansted that, if granted, would enable the airport to grow over time to make best use of its existing runway and serve 43 million passengers per annum. Uttlesford District Council’s Planning Committee will meet on January 24 to consider these measures.
The core elements of the investment include: £12m (US$15m) of funding for local transportation schemes; a ring-fenced £1m (US$1.3) fund to support new bus routes and encourage the use of new low emission vehicles; more than £2m (US$2.6m) for improving local roads, including over £1m (US$1.3m) for upgrading J8 of the M11; and a Sound Insulation Grant Scheme (SIGS) for those living closest to the airport. The investment will also cover: guaranteed ongoing support for the airport’s on-site college, aerozone and academy; continuation of the annual Meet the Buyers events and the annual Jobs Fair; and a revamped Community Trust Fund.
These measures sit alongside Stansted’s ongoing commitments to: operate within a legally binding noise envelope 15% smaller than that currently required; retain the highest public transportation use of any major UK airport; monitor local air quality; and mitigate any harm to local sites of ecological value.
The airport has also committed to offering substantial discounts to local rail commuters parking at Stansted and to urge the UK government to tighten the noise penalty limits, thereby enabling the airport to levy heavier fines for noisy aircraft, with money collected to be fed into local community projects.
“The independently reviewed environmental analysis of our application is clear. It shows that our comprehensive package of community, transport and environmental mitigation adheres to the tests set out in the planning process and will enable the benefits of a thriving Stansted to be fully realized while actively managing any environmental impacts associated with our future growth,” explained Stansted CEO Ken O’Toole.