Stansted Airport expansion 'would create 10,000 jobs'
Ten thousand jobs could be created if Stansted Airport is allowed to accommodate an extra 10 million passengers a year, it has been claimed.
The airport wants to be able to plan for a capacity of 40-45 million passengers a year, but is currently capped at 35 million.
Managing director Andrew Harrison said this would allow the airport to make "full use of its single runway".
Campaigners Stop Stansted Expansion said the change was not needed.
In a letter addressed to the Airports Commission's Sir Howard Davies and co-signed by regional business leaders, Mr Harrison said a "do minimum approach" would not be acceptable when planning for the airport's future.
'Jumping own gun'
"Making the best use of Stansted's single runway will be vital to both the region and to London over the next 10-15 years," Mr Harrison said in the letter.
"The airport has the potential to create substantial benefits for businesses and communities, and for the capital, much more quickly than the proposals the Commission is considering for new runway capacity in the South East."
Stansted currently handles 19 million passengers a year.
Peter Sanders, chairman of the Stop Stansted Expansion, said the signatories were being "premature".
"The Airports Commission has said the airport won't be full until 2041," he said.
"In urging the consideration of this issue as an immediate priority, Stansted Airport is jumping its own gun."
The Airports Commission is expected to publish a report on expanding UK airport capacity next summer.