London Southend Airport has been given the green light to expand a new terminal, which could bring 300 jobs to the area.
Rochford District Council has confirmed plans that the proposed extension of the terminal will now go ahead.
This marks the first phase of the operation following the opening of the newest terminal in February. Southend Airport is expecting to handle around two million passengers per year by 2020, and the terminal is just one way of boosting the airport’s overall capacity.
Under the plans, the terminal building will be extended by 90 metres. This will provide the airport with more check-in desks, baggage drop off points and security screening channels.
The airport believes that the terminal expansion will mean faster access for travellers. Southend Airport suggests that it will take no longer than four minutes for departing passengers to make it through security while arriving passengers could get through the airport doors and onto a plane within 15 minutes.
This comes at a time when Olympic Games organisers fear that Heathrow might not be able to cope with the volume of travellers this summer. Many holidaymakers have already experienced serious delays at the airport this month, following the typical Easter Holiday rush.
“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,” said Alastair Welch, London Southend Airport managing director.
“This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider economy.”
Despite the council giving the extension the go-ahead, local residents living under the flight path are furious. According to the website, Stop Airport Extension Now, local resident Tanya Artus, 39, said: “The only way I can sleep is with earplugs at the moment.”