At a special event to mark the milestone, Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Aviation, owners of Southend Airport, said “As you’d expect from London’s fastest growing airport, we’ve seen a lot of change over the last 10 years - and we’re planning for even more change over the next 10. That’s why today we have not only considered our achievements to date, but also looked forward to what the next 10 years could bring – for both London Southend Airport and the airport industry.”
The runway is currently being resurfaced to allow a greater variety of plans to operate from the airport, ahead of the arrival of new partner Ryanair in April. There are also plans to extend the terminal, introduce self-service Bag Drop and increase the food and beverage outlets on offer to passengers. In 2009 when Stobart took over LSA there were just 3,000 passengers a year using the airport – in 2019 there is expected to be 2.5 million.
Mr Jones also revealed the airport will be submitting plans to build a second hotel, commenting: “As we get bigger, we also want to get better – unlike other airports we have absolutely no intention of letting the passenger experience slip as we grow, we want it to improve. We will continue to invest in great people, use big data to understand our market and embrace technology and partnerships. We are absolutely determined to retain our title of Which? ‘Best Airport in London’, which we’ve been named 5 years in a row.”
The airport also joined forces with the start-up hub Founders Factory to invite six exciting companies to join the event for a series of quick-fire presentations that explained the opportunities for change and demonstrated the new technology being developed in the travel industry.
Companies taking part included Dronomics (the first strategic partner for IATA's drones initiatives), ChargedUp (the ‘Boris Bike’ of mobile charging) and Car and Away (the AirBnB for car owners).
Alice Ferrari from Founders Factory said “London Southend Airport and Stobart Group are key partners of easyJet and we have all been working together to bring innovation to the airline industry. Today has been really exciting to see how lots of different key stakeholders are intrigued and so welcoming of innovation and new ideas.”