12th October 2018

Stansted bottom of league for supporting local good causes

A survey carried out by local airport community groups across the UK has shown that Stansted Airport is by far the least generous of any major UK airport in supporting local good causes.

Heathrow and Gatwick both contributed the equivalent of 1.1 pence per passenger to community projects last year whereas Stansted contributed just 0.2 pence per passenger. In total, Heathrow gave £808,500 last year and Gatwick gave £513,500. By comparison, Stansted’s contribution was just £54,000.

UK Airport Total Contribution Pence per Passenger
Heathrow £808,500 1.1p
Gatwick £513,500 1.1p
Bristol £156,000 1.9p
Glasgow £145,000 1.5p
Edinburgh £134,000 1.0p
Luton £114,685 0.7p
Manchester £108,750 0.4p
Birmingham £79,266 0.6p
Stansted £54,000 0.2p

The second lowest contribution, on a per passenger basis, was Manchester Airport which gave the equivalent of just 0.4 pence per passenger to local good causes.

Moreover, the research showed that unlike most other UK airports, Manchester and Stansted airports seek to make their financial contributions to good causes conditional upon approval of their airport expansion plans. Stansted Airport has indicated that it would be prepared to provide additional funding for local good causes provided its current planning application is approved.

If the application were to be approved it would mean a 66% increase in passengers and a 44% increase in flights compared to last year.

SSE Deputy Chairman Brian Ross commented “These are very small sums of money compared to the £166 million dividend that Manchester Airports Group (MAG) paid to its shareholders this year, up £25 million on last year. By comparison, since acquiring Stansted from BAA, MAG has halved the amount provided by Stansted Airport for local good causes.”

Mr Ross concluded: “Whether it’s a contribution towards fixing the scout hut roof or helping to fund minibus transport for the disabled, there is no shortage of deserving local good causes. It’s shameful that MAG gives so little compared to every other major UK airport.”


  • The analysis underlying the above summary table is available upon request from SSE.
  • The sums of money shown are the direct contributions from the airport itself, including aircraft noise fines. In all cases they exclude charitable donations by passengers in unwanted foreign currency and charity fundraising by airport staff.


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