London Stansted EGSS STN
As the fourth busiest airport in the UK (after Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester), London Stansted airport handles over 24 million passengers per year, and is the primary hub for low-cost carrier Ryanair. 30 miles to the north-east of Central London, the airport currently serves over 170 destinations across the world with carriers such as easyJet, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Flybe, and Jet2. Stansted is also home to a cargo operation, serving operators such as FedEx, Cargolux, and UPS.
Current METAR
Key Details
Name London Stansted
Latitude 51.88499832
Longitude 0.235
Elevation 348 ft

On the ground

Aircraft which are departing London Stansted IFR should, wherever possible, file a Standard Instrument Departure (SID).

When following a SID, due to the interaction with other routes, initial altitudes must be observed. Please use charts. If unsure, ask the the controller!

On first contact with Stansted ATC you must state your aircraft type, stand number, ATIS code letter (if received) and the QNH you currently have. 

First Contact after Departure

On initial contact with London Control, Stansted Direcotr or Essex Radar (when airborne) report your departure, and your passing & cleared altitudes. 
e.g. "London Control, ABC123, BUZAD7R departure, passing altitude 3500 feet, climbing to altitude 4000 feet."

Heathrow Positioning Flights

Aircraft routing to London Heathrow (EGLL) should file via the Lambourne (LAM) departure.
Standard Route for EGSS-EGLL: LAM

Gatwick Positioning Flights

Aircraft routing to London Gatwick (EGKK) should file via the Detling (DET) departure.
Standard Route for EGSS-EGKK: DET

Luton Positioning Flights

Aircraft routing to London Luton (EGGW) should file via the Barkway (BKY) departure.



Aircraft inbound via a STAR must follow the routing and level/speed restrictions as laid out in the appropriate chart.  Normally, on the network aircraft will be vectored from either ABBOT or BKY to final approach, descending where appropriate.  Aircraft must not however proceed beyond LOREL or ABBOT without ATC clearance but instead should enter the hold at either ABBOT or LOREL and await further instructions.  Essex Radar (ESSEX_APP) handles the stacks and these are detailed below.  

LOREL: (Left hand turns, Inbound Course: 188)

ABBOT: (Right hand turns, Inbound Course: 267)

1 minute legs. Standard Holding Speeds for the LTMA apply.  (Up to and including FL140: 220kts, At FL150 and above Standard ICAO Holding Speeds)

From the stacks Essex Radar will hand inbound aircraft to Stansted Director who will vector the aircraft onto base and finally final approach for the appropriate runway.

VFR Circuits

VFR circuits are to the south of the airfield at an altitude of 1400ft or a height of 1000ft.  Aircraft wishing to fly VFR circuits should indicate this on initial contact with Stansted Ground and expect taxi instructions to the relevant holding point.  Once at the hold clearance will be granted,subject to current traffic situations.  


  • Audley End Railway Station (North)
  • Epping (South)
  • Great Dunmow (East)
  • Puckeridge (A10/A120 Intersection) (West)


Please note that there are more VRPs in the Stansted area but these are the ones most commonly used on the network. 


Aircraft who wish to depart the zone should contact Stansted Ground for taxi clearance to the relevant holding point. Once at the holding point Stansted Tower will issue the zone exit clearance via the appropriate VRP and usually instruct the aircraft to maintain an altitude of not above 1500ft.  Once the aircraft is airborne and clear of any other traffic in the ATZ (Aerodrome Traffic Zone) it will be handed off to Stansted Director.


Aircraft wishing to enter the Stansted CTR/CTA should contact Essex Radar at least 5 minutes before the CTR/CTA boundary.  VFR flights will be instructed to route towards the relevant VRP and if there is a delay remain clear of the CTR/CTA. Clearance to enter the CTR/CTA will usually have an altitude restriction of not above 1500ft to reduce any conflict with IFR flights.  Once the aircraft is visual with the airfield they will be handed off to Stansted Tower.  


Aircraft flying VFR should, wherever possible, file a flight plan to assist controllers in facilitating the requested routing.  VFR Pilots are also strongly recommended to have either an appropriate VFR Chart or for flying within the Stansted Area the Control Zone and Control Area Chart (AD 2-EGSS-4-1)

Additional Information

Special VFR

Special VFR clearance may be given to aircraft wishing to fly within the Stansted CTR if the traffic situation permits.  Aircraft will normally be cleared to not above altitude 1500ft and route to one of the following VRP's:

  • Audley End Railway Station VRP via M11 Motorway
  • Great Dunmow VRP via B1256 and Takeley Village
  • Puckeridge VRP via A120 Truck road avoiding Bishops Stortford

Pilots must remain clear of cloud and insight of the surface at all times.  

SVFR Clearances will not be issued when there is a reported visibility of 1800m or less and/or a cloud ceiling of less than 600ft.  

Helicopter Operations

Helicopters will normally land and depart from an area marked as H on Taxiway Foxtrot.  In order to do this the visibility will be greater than 1500m and the cloud ceiling greater than 300ft. In addition this procedure is only available during 0700-2300 local.   Should the weather conditions be less that those stated above then helicopters must use the runway to arrive and depart.   Helicopters inbound from the South or East will be asked to hold at the diamond hanger (Hanger 8) not below 500ft to cross the runway to then land at the helicopter landing area.  Helicopters arriving from the North or West may be asked to initially route via Hazelend Wood VRP  towards the Northern Edge of Hanger 4 to either hold there not below 500ft or route onwards to the helicopter landing area. 



Note:- London/Stansted frequencies are slightly different from those in the real-world due to lack of 8.33 kHz frequency support on VATSIM.

IFR Departures:

Aircraft not departing via a SID should pass their requested routing to Stansted Ground on initial contact. All Non Standard departures will require a release from Stansted Director and may require coordination with other ATC.  In periods of heavy traffic pilots are advised that non standard departures may be refused and that they should, wherever possible, file a SID. 

All IFR departures must follow the relevant noise abatement procedure for the runway in use. These can be found in EGSS AD 2.21. 

IFR Arrivals:

Aircraft wishing to enter the Stansted CTA or CTR should request clearance to do so at least 10 minutes before the CTA/CTR boundary.   When clearance has been received, the inbound aircraft will be routed to integrate with the current traffic situation. 


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