Stansted celebrates 30 years since new terminal opened

Cake cutting to mark the opening of the new terminal
Cake cutting to mark the opening of the new terminal

London Stansted Airport (STN/EGSS) is today marking 30 years since the terminal building and “new” airport opened.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the new terminal on the 15th March 1991.

Since that date the terminal has seen almost 460 million passengers pass through its doors and the airport has seen 3.95 million flights arrive and depart.

Royal Opening
Royal Opening

As a result of the coronavirus though, passenger numbers today are much closer to 1991’s figures than the ones seen in 2019.

in fact, the passenger numbers are currently at their lowest level since 1994.

The Stansted Airport we see today was created by the development of a £400m new terminal and airfield infrastructure that was world class which completed transformed the airfield, which started out as a US Air Force base in World War II, to a modern airport.

The terminal has been extended on two occasions and more recently, an £80m transformation.

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.  

Stansted's new Terminal Buliding taking shape 1989
Stansted’s new Terminal Buliding taking shape 1989

“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.”

The airport recently lost long-term low-cost resident easyJet but continues to be a significant base for Ryanair and Jet2 and also has daily flights from airlines including Emirares and a large Cargo operation.