London Southend Airport is a regional airport located in the county of Essex. It can be reached via the A127 and is within an hour from central London. It is the winner of the Airport Achievement Award 2010 from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). Stobart Air purchased the airport in 2008.
The annual passenger traffic of the airport in 2011 was 42,439, a 1.08% increase compared with 2010. The airport was recognised as a ‘London’ airport by IATA in August 2012.
Annual passenger traffic for the airport is expected to reach two million by 2020. Stobart Air, therefore, is undertaking a number of projects to make the airport a transportation hub to meet the anticipated rise in traffic.
Expansion of London Southend Airport
The airport terminal is undergoing a massive expansion worth €12m. The expansion has been split into three phases. The first phase consists of a new arrivals facility which is scheduled for completion by May 2013. The final phase of the expansion is scheduled for completion by December 2013.
The project will expand the terminal building by 90m. It will also add a number of check-in desks and baggage drop-off points. This project will provide 300 new jobs.
A new railway station and a new air traffic control tower have been opened at the airport. A state-of-the-art, dual-channel, Selex SI radar was installed to increase radar coverage for the airport.
A new Holiday-Inn four-star hotel was inaugurated at the airport in October 2012 at a cost of £10m.
The five-storey hotel features 129 rooms including twin, double and executive categories, as well as four suites. Chardon Management is managing the hotel.
Terminal features and air traffic control (ATC) at London Southend
The terminal doesn’t have any escalators or lifts.
The new passenger terminal will provide improved services to the passengers. It will feature an airside retail outlet, restaurant, forex, car hire and private taxi hire service outlets. Stobart operates a café in the existing terminal.
The old air traffic control (ATC) tower at the airport, which was built in 1960s, was replaced by a new tower in 2011.
The new ATC tower is 32m tall and required an investment of £3m. The construction was completed in March 2011 and the ATC tower was officially opened in July 2011.
The new ATC tower was built by Romford’s Readie Construction. Systems Interface, a company based in Surrey, was contracted to install the electronic logistics systems.
The company was also awarded another contract in July 2011 to supply the navigation aids, meteorological equipment and airfield ground lighting. The equipment includes instrument landing systems (ILS), distance measuring equipment (DME), instrument runway visual range (IRVR) and CAT I airfield ground lighting system.
Brüel & Kjær was contracted in November 2011 to supply its noise and flight track monitoring service, known as NoiseDesk, to the London Southend Airport.
Kier is the main contractor involved in the ongoing terminal expansion project.
Road and rail infrastructure linking the airport to London
A new railway station was built at the airport in 2011 with an investment of £16m. It was officially opened in September 2011, although operations began in July 2011.
It offers rail services from the airport to London Liverpool Street and to the Olympic Park in Stratford.
The railway station is being operated by Stobart Rail, the rail division of the Stobart Group. It is located conveniently, less than 300ft from the new terminal. The design and construction management contract of the station was awarded to Birse Rail.
A new road connecting the London Southend Airport to Eastwoodbury Lane and Nestuda Way was opened in September 2011.
Runways at the award-winning regional airport
The airport has a single runway (06/24) which is asphalt paved. The runway is 1,605m long and 37m wide.
The runway was extended by 300m southeast to accommodate more aircraft. The extension, which was approved in March 2010, was completed in March 2012.
Maintenance facilities and car parking / rental at London Southend Airport
London Southend Airport has a variety of aircraft maintenance facilities.
It has a number of hangars offering maintenance services to Boeing and Airbus manufactured aircraft. Some of the maintenance services include aircraft refinishing, interior refurbishment, repair and overhaul and provision of spares.
Air Livery operates a 46,000ft² repainting facility at the airport. Benson Lund provides refurbishment services in a 30,000ft² facility.
Aviation engineering company ATC Lasham increased its hangarage capacity at the airport by taking over two additional hangings measuring 40,000ft² in 2009.
The airport offers long-term and short-term parking facilities. Two car park areas are located on either side of the airport railway station. These offer both long-term and short-term parking, with special bays for the disabled.