A policy critique of Stansted Airport's expansion to 25 million passengers per annum (MPPA)
Hart, D. and McCann, P., (2004) A policy critique of Stansted Airport's expansion to 25 million passengers per annum (MPPA). Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 17/04. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp26.
In this paper we undertake a preliminary assessment of the regional planning and development implications of BAA Stansted Airport’s planning permission to grow to 25 million passengers per annum (mppa) by 2010. Our concern is not simply to consider the overall growth of the airport on the airport site itself but the nature and type of growth both on- and off-site. In this document we focus on the submitted planning permission documents and test them. The methodology we employed was to draw on published and unpublished numerical estimates of the airport’s growth – particularly including estimates produced by the airport owner, BAA, and their economic and planning consultants DTZ Pieda - and critically, and systematically analyse their figures. We adopted this approach because unless the figures which were employed in the initial calculations were correct then all of the subsequent projections which flow from them - and the polices which could then be based on them – could be flawed. The analysis is divided into two parts – firstly, are the growth forecasts correct?; and secondly, what do these forecasts actually mean in developmental terms? In effect, what we have done is to produce a critique of the existing body of evidence by questioning underpinning assumptions and then draw some preliminary conclusions for the region based on this analysis. A major focus of this report has been analyse the figures involved in the planning application to expand Stansted to 25mppa. Ironically, one of our key findings, that the local impact of Stansted’s proposed expansion in employment terms might well be less than was originally thought, might make it easier to gain the acceptance of the relevant local authorities involved to allow the development to take place. Our main overall findings are that the BAA projections over-estimate the local employment impact of the airport’s proposed growth and under-estimate its potential regional ‘transportation’ employment effect. These two findings are, of course, related to each other in important ways, and we also feel that they have potentially significant medium and long-term economic, competitiveness and planning policy implications for the East of England region