While the third runway at London Heathrow still looks unlikely in the near future, London Southend Airport is doing its part in easing aviation capacity constraints in the south-east of England.
A proposed extension to the new terminal at the airport has been given the go-ahead by Rochford Council, creating 300 jobs in the area.
Phase 1 of the light and airy, fly-through terminal became operational on February 28th and is less than 100 paces from the new railway station.
Passengers flying out from the airport will wait for a maximum of four-minutes for security, while those arriving with just hand luggage can expect to travel from plane to train within 15 minutes of leaving the aircraft.
This Phase 2 extension is to ensure those high standards of service are not compromised as passenger numbers grow towards two million per year by 2020.
The terminal building will now become 90 metres longer.
The number of check in desks / baggage drop off points will increase, as will the amount of security screening channels.
The Departure Lounge will grow in size to enhance the experience for passengers relaxing and awaiting boarding after security.
A larger Arrivals area will have enhanced baggage reclaim facilities and a larger immigration area. Retail and catering facilities will be expanded throughout the terminal in order to provide a much wider range of shops and services available to passengers.
The 300 new jobs will arise from the increase in Southend based aircraft which will result in a variety of additional operational and service roles such as passenger service, security, retail, catering, baggage handling, engineering and maintenance, plus airline crew from London Southend based airline operations.
London Southend Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “We are very pleased that Rochford Council has indicated they support this extension, which will ensure that we are able to maintain the high levels of customer service we intend to be the hallmark of London Southend Airport as our passenger numbers grow.
“This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider economy.”
Construction work on the extension is planned to get underway later this year.