A new £1.5m (US$1.7m) double airbridge has opened at London Stansted, UK, boosting the airport’s ability to handle long-haul aircraft.
The new bridge, the first of its kind at Stansted, joins the 11 single-door airbridges currently in operation at the airport and has the advantage of providing two main deck entry points for wide-body aircraft, such as Boeing 777s, but it can also be used to access the upper deck of Airbus A380s.
The new facility will not only improve the experience and comfort for passengers, but it will also make aircraft turnaround times more efficient for airlines.
First to use the brand-new bridge is Emirates, which resumed daily long-haul flights from London Stansted to Dubai with its Boeing 777-300ER on August 1.
Nick Millar, London Stansted’s operations director, said, “This investment marks a significant milestone in our recovery and is part of an ongoing program of upgrades we’re making at the airport to enhance the customer experience. The brand-new airbridge will allow passengers travelling on wide-body aircraft like Emirates’ Boeing 777 to board and disembark more quickly and comfortably using two doors instead of one. We already have the capacity to handle all types of aircraft, but the new bridge will enhance our long-haul handling capabilities, futureproof our airfield infrastructure and improve performance for our passengers and airlines.”
The project, which took three months to complete, also included new fuel hydrants, underground cabling and modifications to the existing aircraft parking stand facilities.
Other recent improvements at the airport include a new £70m (US$79m) hold baggage system that will speed up baggage delivery times, and a £12m (US$13.5m) refurbishment of the international departure lounge, boosting the number of shops, restaurants and seating areas for passengers.
During the summer, passenger numbers reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels. The airport saw 2.6 million passengers use the terminal in August 2022, its busiest month since 2019.