Home   News   Article

The day the Queen opened new terminal at Stansted Airport

Her Majesty the Queen's most notable appearance in the Stortford Indie patch was the opening of Stansted Airport's terminal in March 1991.

The Uttlesford hub celebrated the 30th anniversary of that momentous occasion last year.

On the day, the Queen arrived by train and was given a tour of the terminal – designed by architect Norman Foster – by Sir Norman Payne, BAA chairman, and Stansted's then-managing director Eric Lomas.

The Queen greets local schoolchildren (59257911)
The Queen greets local schoolchildren (59257911)

During her visit, the monarch greeted local schoolchildren, believed to be pupils of Takeley primary.

The modern Stansted, now owned by Manchester Airports Group, was created by the development of a new £400m terminal and world-class airfield infrastructure in 1991 that transformed the original airfield that had begun life as a Second World War USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) base.

Four days after the official opening on March 15, the new terminal welcomed its first passengers for the first departing flight, an Air UK service to Glasgow, and greeted its first arrivals when an Air France flight landed from Paris.

The Queen at Stansted Airport (59257913)
The Queen at Stansted Airport (59257913)

By the 30th anniversary, nearly 460 million passengers had passed through the iconic building on 3.95 million flights.

Her Majesty the Queen opened another of Foster's designs – the largest covered public square in Europe, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court – in the British Museum in 2000.

In 1997, in recognition of his work, the Queen appointed Foster, whose full title is Lord Foster of Thames Bank, to the Order of Merit. The honour, which only the monarch can bestow, is currently held by just 18 people. Other recipients include industrial designer Sir James Dyson, artist David Hockney, broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, cardiothoracic surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, conductor Sir Simon Rattle and inventor of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More