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London Stansted Airport, to give it its official title, is the third busiest airport in the UK and one that has shown rapid growth over the past couple of decades. Situated some 30 miles from London itself, the airport is one of five that service the city and surrounding areas and is topped in terms of passenger numbers by only Heathrow and Gatwick. A recently built terminal building, designed by the architect Norman Foster, has elevated Stansted into the realms of the world’s top airports, and it is also one of the biggest cargo operators in the country.
Popular mainly with the low cost budget airlines that make up the majority of holiday flights these days, Stansted airport offers flights to just about every imaginable European destination and some further afield: Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is serviced on a schedule basis by Air Asia, Iceland Express flies regularly to Reykjavik and flights to destinations in the USA are soon to begin. Cargo flights to the USA by FedEx are part of the airports staple traffic, and also to many other destinations worldwide.
Stansted has its own dedicated railway station that is situated beneath the terminal building, and is well served by the local motorway network, making it easy to reach and popular with holidaymakers. There are proposals in place that have a second runway at the heart of the future improvements; this has met, naturally, with opposition from local pressure groups but, if it were to go ahead, would give Stansted the capacity to handle more passengers than even the mighty Heathrow,