The main passenger terminal at London Stansted Airport is located near the village of Stansted Mountfitchet. The airport's layout was initially designed to allow passengers to arrive at the short-stay car park proceed through the check-in hall, security, and the departure gates, all on the same level. Three passenger satellites have departure gates, one of which is linked to the main terminal via an air bridge and the other two via the Stansted Airport Transit System people mover. Foster Associates designed the terminal building with structural engineer Peter Rice's input. It features a "floating" roof supported by a space frame of inverted-pyramid roof trusses, giving the impression of a stylized swan in flight. Each truss structure has a "utility pillar" at the base that provides indirect uplighting illumination and houses air conditioning, water, telecommunications, and electrical outlets.
From 1997 to 2007, Stansted experienced rapid growth due to the low-cost air travel boom, reaching a peak of 24 million passengers in October 2007, but passenger numbers fell over the next five years. Passenger numbers later increased, with an annual increase of 8.0 percent to 24.3 million in 2016, and numbers have since continued to rise.
The years of war
Stansted Airport opened in 1943 and was used by the Royal Air Force during World War II. It was used as an international bomber base and later as a supply and storage area for planes on the continent. After the war, Stansted Airport was used as a maintenance unit and housed German POWs.
After the Americans left on August 12, 1945, Stansted was taken over by the Air Ministry and used for storage by No. 263 Maintenance Unit, RAF. Furthermore, between March 1946 and August 1947, Stansted was used to house German POWs.
The recently established British cargo airline, London Aero and Motor Services moved into Stansted in November 1946, equipped with ex-RAF Handley Page Halifaxes, and used it as a base for its operations until it was dissolved in July 1948. Stansted was finally taken over by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 1949, and the airport was then used as a base by several UK charter airlines. In 1954, the US military returned to extend the runway in preparation for a possible transfer.
Stansted was eventually taken over by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 1949, and it was then used as a base by several UK charter airlines. In 1954, the US military returned to extend the runway in preparation for a possible transfer to NATO. However, the transfer to NATO was never completed, and the airport remained in civil use until the BAA took it over in 1966.
The 1960s to the 1990s
Since 1966, Stansted has been used for civilian flights. Airlines used it to avoid the high costs of flying from Heathrow and Gatwick. However, the government intended for Stansted to become "London's third airport," relieving congestion at the other airports. By safety guidelines, the airport's capacity was limited to 25 million passengers per year in 1984. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, airlines flying from Stansted Airport offered an increasingly diverse range of destinations. New parking facilities at Stansted Airport have been introduced.
Stansted Airport has grown steadily since 2000, and it now has more flights than ever before. The airport's services are constantly being improved. Parking facilities are included. The Stansted Long Stay and Stansted Mid Stay car parks are part of the Stansted Airport parking complex. Stansted Airport is now the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom. Ryan Air's central hub serves various domestic and international destinations. Stansted Airport has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a strip of grass for planes to land on.
Buildings for the terminal and satellites
Upon entry, the terminal is divided into three sections: check-in and the main concourse in the front, departures in the back left, and arrivals in the back right. The main terminal building has no gates; instead, three separate oblong satellite buildings house them. The airport has 68 gates: 40 jetway gates and 28 hardstands and, 6 additional storage spaces for narrowbody planes; however, these storage spaces are blocked by the two spaces flanking them.
Stansted Airport's air traffic control tower, which was completed in 1996, was the tallest in the United Kingdom. It's next to the main terminal building on the south side of the airfield. When the current terminal building opened in 1991, it replaced the old control tower, which provided poor airfield views.
Infrastructure in other areas
Most cargo operations, including aircraft such as the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and the Boeing 747, are handled by the main cargo center, which is located near the control tower. Around the airfield, there are several cargo buildings and hangars. A small number of hangars are located on the opposite side of the runway from the rest of the airport. One of the largest is used by Ryanair and is located to the southeast of the airfield.
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