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First phase of Stansted overhaul unveiled

Part of the new departure lounge opens today Credit: MAG

The first phase of an £80 million revamp of the departure lounge at Stansted airport is unveiled today.

The new duty free shop and other high street chains will be opening their doors as the new-look retail section welcomes it's first passengers.

New security desks have already opened as part of the project.

The overhaul should be fully completed by October 2015, when new restaurants and a high-end retail section opens.

It's part of a larger plan to double the number of passengers using the airport.

Sharp rise in passenger numbers at Stansted

Passenger numbers were up in August at Stansted airport in Essex. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

Passengers numbers at Stansted airport in Essex rose sharply in August.

They were up 11.6% to 2.03 million in August 2014 compared with August the previous year.

Stansted, which is owned by Manchester Airports Group, recently announced expansion plans.

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Stansted flights likely to be affected by Italian strike

Ryanair has axed 96 flights to and from Italy today. Credit: PA

UK air passengers are facing major disruption due to a strike by Italian air traffic controllers, with scores of flights cancelled.

The four-hour stoppage has led to Ryanair axing 96 flights to and from Italy today, including four return services involving flights to and from the UK.

EasyJet has had to cancel up to 60 flights and other UK carriers are also likely to be affected by the action, which lasts from 11.30am to 3.30pm UK time.

The Ryanair cancellations include Manchester-Bologna, Stansted-Ancona, Stansted-Trieste and Liverpool-Pisa.

Ryanair warned that further delays and cancellations are likely and advised passengers to check the status of their flight.

"We sincerely apologise to all passengers who have had their travel plans disrupted by these unjustified ATC strikes. "

– Robin Kiely, Ryanair

EasyJet also says that flights could be affected, and have offered passengers the chance to transfer their flights to another day.

"We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact to our customers and we are offering anyone flying to and from Italy during those times the opportunity to transfer their flight free of charge to another day to avoid the strike.

They should go to easyJet.com to make changes to their flights."

– EasyJet

Man admits taking explosive flares on to plane

A Cypriot student is facing a possible jail term after admitting taking eight explosive flares on to a plane at Stansted Airport and possessing a terrorist manual.

Stansted Airport Credit: PA Images

22-year-old Andreas Pierides from Finchley, London was stopped on the gangway as he was about to board a flight to Cyprus on 15 May.

Police were alerted to Pierides after a member of the public spotted him on a train reading an electronic publication with instructions on how to make a car bomb on 19 January.

As they arrested him, officers seized a box of distress signal mini-flares which they found inside luggage which had already been stowed on the plane, a court heard.

But they handed them back in error after Pierides was charged for having a terrorist manual.

Five days later, police went to his bail address in north London to ask for the flares back and arrest him again, this time under the Aviation Security Act 1982.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey, Pierides pleaded guilty to a charge under the 2000 Terrorism Act of possessing an electronic version of the Anarchist Cookbook, he also admitted having a dangerous article in an airport.

The judge Mr Justice Sweeney ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned sentencing to 27 October.

Fake 'Disney' goods worth £10k seized at Stansted

Border Force officers at Stansted Airport have seized counterfeit “Disney” children’s clothing and accessories worth more than £10,000.

Fake Disney bag Credit: Border Force

The dresses and bags arrived at Stansted from China earlier this month.

Officers discovered 490 dresses and three bags carrying images of the popular Disney ‘Frozen’ film.

Image on a fake Disney dress Credit: Border Force

An investigation was launched by Border Force’s International Trade Team which specialises in recognising counterfeit products and works with the owners of big brands to establish whether or not goods are genuine.

Disney have confirmed that all of the goods are counterfeit and they will now be destroyed.

As the rights holders, Disney can now decide whether or not they wish to prosecute the importer privately.

Everyone loves a bargain, but if the price appears too good to be true, either at a car boot sale, a market stall or online, it probably is.

The international trade in counterfeit goods is linked to serious and organised crime and undercuts honest traders, damaging our economy.

– James Morgan, Assistant Director in charge of Border Force at Stansted.

Anyone who has been sold counterfeit goods or knows someone who is selling them should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Flight paths from Stansted airport could change

Stansted Airport. Credit: Press Association Images.

People living near Stansted Airport have just four weeks to get their views heard on planned changes to its flight paths.

National Air Traffic Services - which is known as NATS - is proposing to direct the majority of flights which currently head south from the airport to go east instead.

NATS insists there will not be any new routes - just new ways of using the existing ones.

The consultation ends on September 8.

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Stansted passenger numbers on the rise

Passenger numbers rise

Stansted airport has seen a 7.6% rise in passenger numbers with nearly 1.82 million people passing through the airport last month compared with May 2013.

The announcement of passenger levels came as the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission published its latest discussion paper entitled Utilisation Of The UK's Existing Airport Capacity.

The commission reaches no conclusions in its paper and is now seeking the views of interested parties.

The commission is also studying the so-called "Boris Island" option of a new airport in the Thames Estuary - a project favoured by London mayor Boris Johnson.

The commission is due to make its final recommendation to ministers in summer 2015 but at a date after the general election in May.

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