At an industry forum, held by Halstead Rotary Club, Paul Willis Transformation Director for Manchester Airports Group, owners of Stansted airport, presented plans for a Stansted expansion. These included a new passenger arrivals terminal, together with shore line check in desks. The new terminal will fit between the Radisson Hotel and the existing Terminal building.
The event Chaired by Club president Keith Brownlie learned there are also plans to recruit trained staff and to train new recruits including a training joint venture with Harlow College. The very informative presentation by Paul Willis was followed by a lively question and answer session.
David Finch leader of Essex County Council told the meeting that we should embrace the expansion plans locally. Infrastructural needs were being given priority including the need for better access from the A120.The need to have better transport access including rail and bus was also discussed and a greater political will was essential to address these issues.
Local Councillors from Braintree District Council and Halstead Town Council raised issues including local employment opportunities, parking at the airport where prices were considered excessive and disabled access. Paul Willis agreed to feedback these local issues.
James Abbott Essex County Councillor and Green Party representative was critical of the expansion plans. He felt the existing plans were sufficient for local needs and felt there was a lack of environmental consideration for aircraft pollution and flight path noise levels.
Jackie Pell Halstead Town Council supported the Airport expansion plans and thanked the Rotary Club for holding this important forum. She emphasised the need for all local residents to join the debate and ensure we all took advantage of the opportunities presented.
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