The UK’s London Southend Airport is set to start a maintenance project to upgrade the durability and performance of the facility’s runway.

Work on the project will involve an investment of £10m is scheduled to begin on 7 January next year.

Runway maintenance is needed to enable the airport to continue serving the increasing passenger traffic, which has grown to 1.5 million travellers over the past few years and this trend is expected to continue further into 2019.

The upgrade will enable more flights at London Southend Airport.

In addition, the development will help create more jobs, including the 750 ‘on-site’ jobs annually created with the opening of a new Ryanair base at London Southend in mid-2019.

“The last set of major runway works were in 2011 and were part of the runway extension development.”

Stobart Aviation CEO Glyn Jones said: “It is essential to maintain a safe runway. The last set of major runway works were in 2011 and were part of the runway extension development.

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“Previous to that, maintenance was carried out in 1994. As part of the strategic plan for continued investment to cater for the growth of the airport, within our existing S106 planning agreement, we are enhancing the durability and performance of the runway.”

To avoid any disruption to flights operations, the airport will carry out the majority of the works during night hours.

The runway will be shutdown between the hours 23.30-06.30 to all aircraft so that the contractors can complete the planned work in a safe environment.

The runway maintenance work is likely to complete in almost three months.