London Stansted boosts long-haul capabilities with new double airbridge
The opening of a new air bridge might not seem like that big a deal for an airport, but for London Stansted it is significant, as the new addition boosts the UK gateway’s ability to handle long-haul aircraft.
The new £1.5million double airbridge, the first of its kind at Stansted, joins the 11 single-door airbridges currently in operation at the airport and has the advantage of providing two main deck entry points for wide-body aircraft, like Boeing 777s, but it can also be used to access the upper deck of Airbus A380s.
And according to the airport, the new facility, which actually opened in the summer, will not only improve the experience and comfort for passengers, but it will also make aircraft turnaround times more efficient for airlines.
London Stansted’s operations director, Nick Millar, said: “This investment marks a significant milestone in our recovery and is part of an ongoing programme of upgrades we’re making at the airport to enhance the customer experience.
“The brand-new airbridge will allow passengers travelling on wide-body aircraft like Emirates’ Boeing 777 to board and disembark more quickly and comfortably using two doors instead of one.
“We already have the capacity to handle all types of aircraft, but the new bridge will enhance our long-haul handling capabilities, future-proof our airfield infrastructure and improve performance for our passengers and airlines.”
The project, which took three months to complete, also included new fuel hydrants, underground cabling, and modifications to the existing aircraft parking stand facilities.
A number of other facilities have also been upgraded at the airport recently to enhance the passenger experience.
Improvements include a new £70 million hold baggage system that will speed up baggage delivery times, and a £12 million refurbishment of the international departure lounge, boosting the number of shops, restaurants and seating for passengers.
During the summer, passenger numbers reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels. The airport saw 2.6 million passengers use the terminal in August 2022, its busiest month since 2019.