The airport operator sought to vary the terms of a condition that restricted the annual number of passengers to 25 million and the number of air movements to 241,000, no more than 22,500 of which were to be cargo movements. It argued that the number of passengers should be increased to around 35 million a year, with 264,000 air traffic movements.
The secretaries of state agreed that this would lead to additional noise and adversely affect some residents living near the airport, but concluded that these effects would be limited. Expansion of the facility would accord with government policy in the air transport white paper and its progress report on the future of air transport, they held.
They decided that lifting the restriction would strike an appropriate balance between the need to meet increased air travel demand and minimising climate change. Flights could be increased without adversely affecting the local road network or sewerage capacity, they concluded. They stressed that their decision to allow the appeal set no precedent for approving a second runway at Stansted.
DCS Number 100-058-038
Inspector Alan Boyland; Inquiry