An extension to the passenger terminal at Southend Airport has been officially opened by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP.
He was joined by Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler and London Southend Airport Operations Director David Lister, along with local dignitaries, to mark the successful completion of the final phase of the airport’s six-year, £120 million redevelopment.
During his visit, the Secretary of State was given a tour of the terminal and then spoke with representatives from the airlines operating at Southend Airport, local MPs’, members and officers of Southend and Rochford Councils, plus local business leaders and residents associations during a reception in the terminal extension.
Mr McLoughlin said: “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to see the redevelopment at London Southend Airport first hand. The growth the airport is seeing is fantastic news for the regional economy and passengers alike. This new terminal extension means better facilities for travellers and a boost for the UK’s transport infrastructure.”
Southend Airport is Europe’s fastest growing airport, with a 57.1% rise in passenger numbers in 2013. It was also recently recognised as the Best Airport in Britain in a Which? passenger survey.
London Southend Airport Operations Director David Lister said it was great to have the last phase of airport regeneration officially opened.
He added: “At London Southend Airport we pride ourselves in our simply easier experience. We are convinced it is our high standards of service that are responsible for London Southend becoming so popular over the past 12 months, and we have extended the terminal to ensure that standards are not compromised as passenger numbers grow over time.
“With the terminal extension now open and new Flybe flights announced, 2014 is already shaping up to be another great year for London Southend Airport.”
Leader of Rochford District Council, Councillor Terry Cutmore, said: “It’s great that we have this investment in Rochford, which will serve both our district and the Southend area. We are looking forward to seeing the Airport grow and employment increase. We are also alongside our colleagues in Southend on plans for the surrounding area, including a new business park. It is envisaged these plans will lead to about 6,000 new jobs.”