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London Stansted bids for growth

STANSTED, UK: The Manchester Airport Group (MAG), owner of Stansted airport, says development of the single runway at London's third airport over the next 10-15 years has the potential to generate 10,000 more jobs and produce £4.6 billion in new economic activity.

Stansted sustainable development planAccording to a new MAG sustainability plan, Stansted has the capacity to more than double its current throughput to around 40-45 million passengers a year within the existing airport boundary and approved environmental limits. MAG adds that cargo volumes could increase to "around 400,000 tonnes per annum" within the same time frame.

The company says Stansted has the highest volume of dedicated freighter flights of the three London airports and handled over 230,000 tonnes of cargo last year. Currently the airport has planning permission to handle 243,500 passenger flights and 20,500 cargo flights per annum.

Referring to the U.K. government-appointed Airports Commission to determine future London airport capacity, Stansted managing director Andrew Harrison explained: "The commission's final report, due later in 2015, will recommend to the new government what steps should be taken to ensure that existing airport capacity makes the biggest possible contribution to meeting demand. To help the commission address these issues, we prepared a draft sustainable development plan setting out how Stansted will grow to the capacity of its existing single runway, along with an assessment of the associated benefits and impacts."

Jo Valentine, CEO of business lobby group London First added: "Better air links serving London will grow Britain's ability to trade with the world, attract investment and generate jobs. Seeing as we probably won't get a new runway to serve London for over a decade, we need to maximize the potential of those airports serving the capital that have spare capacity. Under the ownership of MAG, Stansted has made impressive and rapid progress in improving the quality of its service and attracting new passengers and routes."

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