Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, is supporting the appeal by the owner of Stansted Airport, announced today (Friday 10 July), against the local council’s refusal to grant permission for the next stage of the airport’s development.

Unite, which has more than 2,500 members at the Essex airport, said the expansion would be an important building block in kick-starting the aviation and tourism sectors in the post-pandemic economy.

Recent job losses because of coronavirus announced at the airport include those at easyJet, Ryanair and ground handling firm Swissport.

On 24 January, Uttlesford district council’s refused to support the expansion of Stansted Airport on the grounds of noise, air quality and climate change.

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “Since Uttlesford district council refused planning permission for the next stage of development in January, the aviation and travel sectors have been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus emergency.

“Unite has been a long-term supporter of Stansted’s development as a major generator for the East of England economy and we are pleased to support the appeal application by the airport’s owner Manchester Airport Group (MAG).

“We need to plan for the post-pandemic economy and Unite views Stansted’s expansion as an economic building block in the years ahead in terms of economic growth and job creation.

“Hopefully, this appeal will give the airlines the confidence to invest in Stansted, rather than adopting the short term approach of shedding jobs which is currently the case.” 

The district council’s planning committee in November 2018 originally approved the application provisionally to increase the numbers using Stansted from 35 million passengers annually (for which there is already permission) to 43 million. It served 28 million passengers a year before the lockdown.

However, in May 2019, the Residents for Uttlesford group took control of the council and decided to refer the original decision back to the planning committee which then refused permission in January. 

Before the lockdown, it was estimated that planning permission would have created 5,000 more jobs at the airport and a further £1bn of economic value would also have been generated.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 


Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.