Stansted was the fastest growing airport in Manchester Airports Group in last month as passenger numbers grew by 4.8% to 1.7 million.
The year-on-year growth came in the month the airport submitted a planning application to increase the number of passengers that it is permitted to serve.
MAG as a whole grew 2.4% to 3.6 million passengers across its three UK airports in February.
Growth at Stansted came through a mix of winter sun and ski destinations and ahead of an expected busy summer, as new long haul routes to New York, Toronto, Boston, Washington DC and Dubai are launched.
MAG has now owned Stansted for five years, increasing annual passenger numbers by almost 10 million in that time.
Stansted’s application seeks permission to make best use of the airport’s existing single runway over the next decade.
Manchester airport grew 1.3% last month, despite the loss of Monarch flights which were operating this time last year.
Additional aircraft from other airlines will fill these slots for the summer, which together with predicted high load factors, means that MAG expects Manchester to see further growth through summer 2018.
Passenger using East Midlands airport fell by 6.4% year on year to 218,047, partly due to a significant number of snow related flight cancellations.
However, the airport is gearing up for a busy summer schedule, with a new route to Bodrum in Turkey starting in May and Seville being offered as a summer destination for the first time.
MAG corporate affairs director Tim Hawkins said: “The next decade and beyond is going to be about making best use of the runway capacity that this country already has, and MAG operates the two largest airports in the country with significant spare runway capacity.
“That is why we are responding to continued growth by applying to raise the cap on passengers that we are allowed to serve at London Stansted to allow the airport to play a greater role in offering runway capacity in London over the next 10-15 years.
“At Manchester airport meanwhile we are pressing ahead with our ten year, £1 billion investment in our terminal facilities, which will allow us to make better use of the two runways that the airport already has – the only airport in the UK outside of Heathrow to have more than one usable runway.”
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