Stansted airport, which was recently sold to and taken over by the Manchester Airport Group, after the monopoly commission deemed BAA in breach of competition rules by owning Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, is one of the London based airports in the running to become SuperHub. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has included the smaller airport, mainly used for charter flights, in a £3 million study as to the feasibility of building a new massive airport to service London.
There are plans a foot to turn either Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted airport into a new SuperHub for London. A study by the Independent Transport Commission has backed the plans and stated there should be 4 runways at the new SuperHub airport.
The commission ruled out the idea of connected Heathrow and Gatwick by a high speed rail link, which would cost billions but leaned more towards creating one massive airport with Heathrow currently favoured as the place with new runways being built to the west of the current location to reduce the noise impact on nearby towns.
The Think-Tank’s main concern was that if Stansted was to be developed into the SuperHub or in deed a whole new airport be built in the Thames Estuary, there would be a massive loss of jobs at Heathrow or Gatwick and also the cost of developing such a SuperHub would mean that passengers and airlines would be charged more than double what they would otherwise be at say Heathrow, give the enormous cost of building the place, which is estimated at a mind boggling £40 to £60 million.
And if a super-hub airport was to be constructed at Stansted, there would need to be a whole new town the size of Peterborough built to cope with the number of workers. There would need to be more homes, schools, a large investment in local infrastructure and such to support such a development.
But Boris Johnson is said to be very opposed to building more runways at Heathrow and a whole new airport would be very expensive, so Stanstead was seen as a compromise. Moving the main airport for London further away from the capital would also ensure that regeneration and benefits were expanded outside of the capital.
The main concern about expanding Heathrow is noise impact on the surrounding area but the Commission argued that planes are getting quieter and so the residents in the area would not be severely affected.
The Airports Commission is due to deliver an interim report on its findings once various papers have been submitted to it. The final report will be published in 2015.