London Southend Airport has taken a significant step on the road to expansion, applying for permission to extend its terminal building.
The short-haul specialist airport has submitted an application to Rochford District Council that it said would lead to much-improved facilities for passengers and allow it to meet new aviation regulations.
The multi-million pound investment will mean an extension to the southern end of the terminal building, with new baggage sorting and screening systems. London Southend said this will allow new equipment to be installed so it meets the incoming European baggage security screening standard next year.
The timing will rely on approval from the council, but the airport hopes to get the work done by next summer.
An extension to the northern end of the terminal improving baggage reclaim facilities is also planned.
Artist's impression of the terminal extension:
The airport, which offers over 30 domestic and European routes, said both additions would be single storey and have been "sensitively designed" in keeping with the existing building.
Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, the owner of London Southend Airport said,
We currently serve over one million passengers a year and more and more people are realising that London Southend offers them a better way to travel. This development is all about ensuring we maintain the highest levels of customer experience and ensuring we are able to comply with new regulations.
The airport was designed to deliver the best possible passenger experience; this extension ensures that we can continue doing just that as we grow.
New routes to Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and Malta launch on 29 October, with Sion starting at the beginning of December.
The airport's owner, Stobart Aviation, has also plugged £2m into mobile luggage check-in service AirPortr, as part of a larger funding round.
Randel Darby, chief executive and founder of AirPortr, said: "This investment will help us to meet increasing demand for an alternative mobile check-in solution in cities around the world. Airline luggage logistics have long lagged behind some incredible developments in travel technology and we’re proud to pioneer a solution, which we feel could represent the biggest step change since the boarding pass went mobile.”