On Air Now
Heart's Club Classics with Toby Anstis 7pm - 10pm
Southend Airport's new terminal has been opened by Transport Secretary Justine Greening. Pictures: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
The new airport passenger terminal in Essex, which could play a role in the expansion of UK aviation, has been officially opened.
The terminal at London Southend Airport will create 500 jobs, operate 70 services per week and transport two million passengers each year by 2020.
Previously, Southend Airport had been a small local airport, operating only infrequent flights.
Inside the new terminal at London Southend Airport. The terminal, complete with new control tower and runway, is described as the biggest airport development in the South East for decades. The Stobart Group says it has invested £100 million in the terminal.
The outside of the new terminal building.
EasyJet will begin operating 70 services, including flights to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Belfast and Malaga, next month.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening during the official opening of the new terminal building at London Southend Airport. She said it was an example of how regional airports can contribute towards economic growth, at a time of growing debate over the need for a new hub in the London area. "The current debate on the future of aviation in our country as a whole has focused on hubs such as Heathrow and Gatwick. Our regional airports have an absolutely vital part to play in making sure the aviation sector remains competitive and continues to serve businesses and the community.''
Speaking at the opening, Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said: "As the first new airport capacity in the South East for decades, London Southend is much needed. It is a brilliant new facility with fantastic transport links to London.'"