London Southend Airport has submitted a planning proposal to the local council calling for an extension to the terminal that it is opening in time for the summer Olympics.
The new terminal forms part of a series of projects which are designed to make it a fully functioning international gateway by the time the Olympics arrive in Summer 2012.
The airport’s new control tower is now operational, as is a new airport railway station providing fast and frequent train services direct to Stratford and to central London’s Liverpool Street Station.
If the extension for the soon-to-open terminal gets the green-light, construction work on it could theoretically start at the end of year.
The planned 90 metre extension to the terminal would raise London Southend Airport's capacity to 2mppa and allow for an expansion to the departure lounge, an increase in the number of check-in desks and baggage drop off points, as well as more security screening channels.
A larger arrivals area will also include enhanced baggage reclaim facilities and a larger immigration area.
Retail and catering facilities will also be expanded throughout the terminal in order to provide a much wider range of shops and services available to passengers.
Alastair Welch, managing director at London Southend Airport, said: “This extension will ensure that we are able to maintain the high levels of customer service we intend to be the hallmark of London Southend Airport as our passenger numbers grow.”
Meanwhile, as part of Southend Airport’s growth, easyJet will commence 70 departures each week to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Ibiza, Jersey, Malaga and Mallorca from April 2012, and Aer Arann currently operates 10 weekly departures from London Southend to Waterford.
The airport has predicted that passenger growth will hit 2mppa by 2020.