Stansted Airport Is Hollywood’s Latest Secret Film Star

Jul 3, 2019

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London Stansted Airport (STN), most famously known as the mega-hub of European ultra low-cost behemoth airline Ryanair has developed a secret talent – starring in some of the biggest Hollywood blockbuster films.

After previously featuring in box office hits like Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, Bridget Jones and James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies, the airport features in key scenes in the latest Spiderman film Far From Home which opened in UK cinemas this week.

So how does the airport fit into a movie like this? Well Spiderman himself Tom Holland filmed at the airport, he wasn’t boarding a £10 Ryanair flight to Milan Bergamo (BGY) and searching for a staff member to perform a visa check. Unlike Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) which operate at absolute maximum capacity, Stansted, despite only having one runway has plenty of spare capacity both in the terminal and on the runways. This allows the airport to host special visitors like Air Force One, but also to allow film crews to film around the airport to represent the airport as either an imaginary airport, or even impersonate a foreign airport that operates somewhere else.

In the case of Spiderman, the airport was impersonating New York’s Newark (EWR) airport. Newark is a fortress hub for United Airlines, so for authenticity, the film crew organised for a real life United 777 to fly into the airport. This was presumably borrowed from Heathrow Airport in between scheduled flights back to the US, as United does not operate to any other London area airports.

United 777 at STN Aiport. Photo by Stansted Airport

The movie features scenes filmed on the Stansted tarmac with the 777 and also the ‘Newark-ised’ Stansted terminal complete with authentic NYC yellow cabs, with 250 cast and crew taking part.

Spiderman filmed at Stansted Airport. Photo by Sony Pictures

The airport is so popular for filming that there is a dedicated Airport Commercial Filming Manager. He said of the Spiderman shoot that ‘as always, we planned the shoot meticulously and nothing was left to chance to make sure it didn’t get in the way of the normal operation of the airport. Directors love the airport because the light is so good and there are lots of different backdrops to film agains.”

Featured image by Marvel.

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