Work to start on £10m Southend airport extension

Work starts next month on a £10 million extension to the terminal at Southend airport.

A new arrivals area is due to be ready by the end of May next year, with the project due for completion before Christmas 2013.

The work comes as passenger numbers using the Essex airport, acquired by Stobart Group in 2008, grow towards two million a year by 2020.

The terminal building will become 90 metres longer with an increased number of check in desks and baggage drop off points. There will be more space for passengers in the security area.

The departure lounge will be expanded and 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.

The company said 300 new jobs will arise from the increase in Southend-based aircraft “over time”.

These will include a variety of additional operational and service roles such as passenger service, security, retail, catering, baggage handling, engineering and maintenance, plus airline crew.

Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “Our aim is to ensure that we deliver a very special level of customer service in Southend and this extension will allow us to ensure we can continue to deliver those high standards as the airport grows.

“This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider Essex economy.”

Stobart, issuing interim results this morning, said its partnership with EasyJet is being strengthened at Southend with flights to Geneva and Venice to be added and other routes also being explored with the budget carrier and other airlines.

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