In 1943, the airfield was opened as RAF Stansted Mountfitchet for the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force as a bomber airfield and maintenance depot. The USAAF withdrew at the end of the war in 1945 and the Air Ministry took over the airfield and it was used by No. 263 Maintenance Unit, RAF for storage. Also during 1946 to 1947, Stansted was used to house German prisoners of war.
In 1949, the Ministry of Civil Aviation took over and used the airport as a base for several UK charter airlines. In 1954, the US military returned and extended the runway for possible use by NATO but in the end this didn’t happen and the airport continued to be used for civil use. From the 1960s to the early 1980s, the airport was home to the Fire Service TraiПing School which was responsible for the traiПing of all aviation fire crews for British airfields, and many airfields in other countries.
In 1966, BAA controlled the airport, and Stansted was used by holiday charter operations. BAA and the British Government planned to develop Stansted into London’s third airport to relieve the traffic from Heathrow and Gatwick in the future. The first terminal was built in 1969 and expanded in 1970. In 1991, the current terminal building was completed and designed by Lord Foster, it was at the time the most modern airport complex in the world. From 1990 to 1993, there were long-haul services to Chicago but they became unprofitable. Long-haul services returned in 2005 until 2008, to New York, Washington D.C. Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Long-haul services returned in 2010 to Minneapolis and also Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Kuala Lumpur but all these services have ceased. A major expansion programme to the existing terminal took place between 2007 and 2009.
Getting to London Stansted Airport
London Stansted is conveniently situated just off the M11 motorway – use Junction 8a if approaching from the London direction or Junction 8 from the Cambridge side, then follow signs for the airport. The Sat Nav postcode is CM24 1RW.
Stansted Airport rail station is directly below the terminal building. Tickets can be bought in advance or at the station. Regular services link the airport with central and east London, and with eastern England and the Midlands. See Stansted Express. and CrossCountry Trains.
Stansted Airport’s bus and coach station is opposite the main terminal entrance. Long-distance coach services are operated by National Express.
24×7 operate a 24hour taxi service to and from London Stansted Airport.
More information on car parking can be found on the official website.