London Southend has received the green light to expand its newly opened 'Fly Through' passenger terminal.
The gateway claims that the extension – ratified by Rochford Council on Tuesday night – will create 300 additional jobs and ensure that the terminal, built in readiness for 2012 Olympics and only officially opened last month, is equipped to handle 2mppa by 2020.
According to the newly approved plans, the terminal building will now become 90 metres longer allowing for an increase in the number of check in desks and baggage drop off points as well as the amount of security screening channels.
In addition, the Departure Lounge will grow in size to "enhance the experience for passengers relaxing and awaiting boarding after security" and a larger Arrivals area will have enhanced baggage reclaim facilities and a larger immigration area.
The 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".
Airport owner, the Stobart Group, claims that the 300 new jobs will arise from the increase in Southend-based aircraft which will result in a variety of additional operational and service roles such as passenger service, security, retail, catering, baggage handling, engineering and maintenance, plus airline crew from London Southend based airline operations.
London Southend's managing director, Alastair Welch, enthuses: "We are very pleased that Rochford Council has indicated they support this extension, which 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.
"This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider economy."
Construction work on the extension will get underway later this year.