Simple Flying - Jake Hardiman
Situated around 70 km (43.5 miles) north of London, Stansted Airport (STN) is a key hub for low-cost and leisure airlines. It typically ranks fourth in the country by passengers, although it climbed to third in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Away from this, it also serves an interesting role as the designated UK airport for hijacked aircraft landings.
There are several reasons why the UK has designated London Stansted Airport as its preferred aircraft for handling the arrivals of hijacked aircraft. For example, Essex Live notes that its proximity to RAF bases in Suffolk and Lincolnshire is ideal in this respect. After all, some disrupted flights receive fighter jet escorts, with every second counting.
According to The Independent, UK authorities also prefer Stansted due to its more remote location than airports closer to London, like Heathrow and Gatwick. Its lower traffic levels than these facilities also mean that less disruption arises in such situations.