in Aerospace

Stansted marks 30th anniversary

Posted 15 March 2021 · Add Comment

London Stansted is this week marking the 30th anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen officially opening the iconic terminal building on 15th March 1991 and the first flights to operate from the ‘new’ airport.

Above: Her Majesty the Queen officially opening the iconic terminal building on 15th March 1991
Image courtesy Stansted

The milestone comes as the airport faces one of the biggest challenges in its history, with the COVID-19 pandemic grounding all but essential flights and the aviation sector facing continuing uncertainty over when travel might resume.  Before the pandemic, the airport would welcome around 28 million passengers a year flying to almost 200 destinations. This compares to fewer than 50 routes and just over one million passengers when the terminal opened in 1991.  However, in the last 12 months the number of passengers passing through its doors are now similar to levels last seen in 1994.

The modern Stansted was created by the development of a new £400 million terminal and world class airfield infrastructure in 1991 that transformed the original airfield that began life as a World War II USAAF base. Four days after the official opening, the new terminal welcomed its first passengers for the first departing flight, an Air UK service to Glasgow, and greeted its first arrivals when an Air France flight landed from Paris. Since that date, nearly 460 million passengers have passed through the Lord Foster designed building on 3.95 million flights.

In the last 30 years, the terminal has been extended twice, including a £50m extension to the arrivals area that opened in 2008, and following MAG’s acquisition in 2013, the terminal has undergone an £80 million transformation along with an £11m upgrade to the Satellite One departures area. The evolution of the terminal has continued with the introduction of a new ‘shoreline’ check-in area in 2019, directly facing passengers as they enter the terminal, and earlier this year, the installation of a new £60 million hi-tech baggage system beneath the terminal was completed ahead of schedule after nearly four years of complex work.

Aviation development in recent years has seen Ryanair continue to rapidly expand its operation at Stansted, and the airport has welcomed key new airline partners, including which established its only base in the south-east of England in 2018, and the world-renowned Emirates that began daily flights to Dubai in 2018.

Steve Griffiths, London Stansted’s Managing Director, said: “London Stansted has a long and proud history, and to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of our iconic terminal building, a building that has undoubtedly stood the test of time, is another great milestone on the airport’s journey.

“While the modern Stansted has been at the forefront of the revolution in air travel over past three decades, we currently face a crisis on a scale like never before.  Passenger numbers are almost back at the same levels as when we first opened, but we know there is demand from the millions of travellers who start and end their journeys through our doors each year.

“That is why it is more important than ever that the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce acts quickly to establish a framework for the restart of international travel in May.

“Stansted has helped create so many fantastic memories for our passengers and our highly valued colleagues over the years, 70 of whom have been with us since we welcomed the Queen all those years ago.

“We can’t wait to welcome back our passengers to begin the next 30 years of Stansted’s story, and we are confident the airport has a very bright and successful future once people are able to start planning for their well-deserved summer getaways.”


Other Stories
Latest News

UK Transport Secretary unveils plan to safely reopen international travel

A framework to chart the safe return of international travel has been set out today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

BAE Systems reveals ‘Partner 2 Win’ Supplier of the Year award winners

Fourteen BAE Systems suppliers are being recognised for best-in-class performance in 2020.

Menzies Aviation aims at carbon neutrality goal

Menzies Aviation today announced its commitment to making 100% of its operations carbon neutral by the company’s 200-year anniversary in 2033.

Air bp scores a UK SAF hattrick

Air bp has recently supplied sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to three airports in the UK: dedicated business aviation airport, London Biggin Hill (BQH), Airbus owned Hawarden (CEG) airport in Flintshire, North Wales, which will be

RVL adds second Saab 340B to its air cargo fleet

RVL Aviation has added a second Saab 340B aircraft to its East Midlands Airport-based fleet, to meet the increasing cargo payload needs of the airline’s national and international logistics customers.

Babcock awarded MoD Phalanx CIWS in-service support contract

Babcock International has been awarded a two year contract with the Ministry of Defence MoD, for continuation of in-service support to the Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS).

ODU UK SK0902311221
See us at
RAF Museum BTDSEI bt1602170921