Passenger numbers were 970,000 in 2013 and are predicted to be 1.3 million this year.
Its original target was to get 2 million passengers passing through by 2020, but the airport handled nearly a million passengers in 2013 and a bigger departure lounge, more check-in desks, revamped baggage reclaim facilities, a new arrivals area and five more plane stands have been built.
The new £10m extension to the airport terminal was formally opened yesterday by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
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.”
Rochford and Southend East MP, James Duddridge accompanied the Secretary on his visit to officially open the £10 million terminal extension, and commented: “I am delighted the Secretary of State for Transport was able to officially open the terminal extension at London Southend Airport. We have a proud record of welcoming Government Ministers to Southend to commemorate and celebrate the exciting delivery of each stage of the airport’s extension programme. Patrick’s visit comes at a time when the airport is increasing the choice of British and European destinations it offers, seeing ever-increasing traveller numbers and is fast becoming a major player in the aviation industry.”
Southend Airport is Europe’s fastest growing airport, with a 57.1% rise in passenger numbers in 2013 (Airline Network News and Analysis). It was also recently recognised as the Best Airport in Britain in Which? airport passenger survey.
Airport Operations Director David Lister said: “It is great to have the last phase of airport regeneration officially open. At London Southend we pride ourselves in our simply easier experience with short walking distances, friendly staff and targets of less than 4-minutes waiting time for security and 15 minutes from plane to train for passengers with hand luggage only. We are convinced it is those 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 just announced, 2014 is already shaping up to be another great year for London Southend Airport.”