London Stansted Airport (IATA: STN, ICAO: EGSS) is a passenger airport located at Stansted Mountfitchet in the local government district of Uttlesford in Essex, 48 km (30 mi) northeast of Central London.
Stansted is a hub for a number of major European low-cost carriers, being the largest base for low-cost giant Ryanair with over 100 destinations served by the airline. In 2011 it was the fourth busiest airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. Stansted's runway is also used by private companies such as the Harrods Aviation terminal which is opposite the main terminal building and handles private jets and some state visits.
The airport is owned and operated by BAA, which also owns and operates five other UK airports, and is itself owned by FGP TopCo Limited, an international consortium, which includes Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and GIC Special Investments, that is led by the Spanish Ferrovial Group.
However in March 2009, the UK Competition Commission ruled that BAA must sell Stansted within two years, a decision quashed within a year, but later upheld.