LONDON Stansted is looking to extend its annual passenger limit from 35 million passengers a year to 43 million.
It has put in a planning application to Uttlesford District Council this week following extensive consultation with local communities.
The application looks to use the existing single runway over the next decade to help boost international long-haul routes to fast-growing markets like China, India and the US.
Stansted says this will also ease pressure on the overloaded London airport system.
It claims passenger growth can be achieved without increasing the number of flights or noise footprint, partly thanks to the introduction of new quieter Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 Neo aircraft by Ryanair and easyJet.
CEO Ken O’Toole said: “Today, London Stansted Airport is virtually unrecognisable from the one which MAG acquired almost five years ago to the day. During this time, we have spent £150m on upgrading the terminal, added nearly 10 million passengers, more than doubled the number of airlines and developed a short-haul route network which is the best in Europe.
“Looking to the future, demand at Stansted is predicted to remain strong and with constraints on runway capacity in the South-East increasing, we are expecting to reach our current limit on passenger numbers in the early 2020s. We are now at the point where it is right to consider the framework for the airport’s growth beyond the current limit.