Southend Airport News

Some news stories about the airport:


US firm Carlyle to take control of Southend airport after debt deal

Essex-based hub to pass into hands of private-equity firm after agreement on £194m debt

Julia Kollewe (Guardian)
Wed 6 Mar 2024

Southend airport is to pass into the control of the US private-equity group Carlyle after an agreement to settle a debt, in the latest takeover of a UK firm by a foreign company.

The London-listed aviation group Esken, formerly Stobart Group, said it had reached a deal over the £193.75m debt that its subsidiary London Southend airport owed to Carlyle Global Infrastructure Fund (CGI).

Under the deal, CGI will take an 82.5% stake in the Essex-based airport, while Esken will keep a 17.5% stake. Esken’s shares will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange as part of the process, and shareholders will be left empty-handed.

“The expectation is that any return for shareholders at the end of the process is likely to be negligible,” Esken said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

The deal, agreed with the board of the airport, includes a short-term unsecured £5m bridge loan to the hub as part of a commitment of £32m of new funding to secure its future growth.

Esken said it had opted for the restructuring because it lacked the financial resources to fight a protracted court battle. The restructuring will require a court process.

It added: “The court process for the Esken restructuring plan is likely to take several months to conclude but, in the meantime, the future funding of London Southend airport is secure and the board will progress the orderly wind down of the remaining group.”

The deal also involves Cyrus Capital Partners, a London-based private-equity firm, which holds a £53m bond that matures on 8 May, and will provide liquidity to the Esken group during this process.

The airport’s chief executive, John Upton, previously said Carlyle and Cyrus had “extensive experience across the aviation industry and deep knowledge of our airport”.

Southend was redeveloped with soaring ambition a decade ago, and appeared likely to grow exponentially among airports that service London, as airlines including easyJet and Ryanair established bases there. But then the Covid-19 outbreak brought international travel to an abrupt halt in 2020.

In 2021, as the pandemic continued to weigh on travel, the company borrowed £125m from Carlyle to secure its finances through the crisis. Carlyle later claimed Esken had broken the terms of its loan and asked for £200m back. The latest deal will settle that dispute.

Amazon night flights to end at Southend Airport

1st September 2022

Esken, which owns Southend airport,  has confirmed that Amazon night flights are to end at the airport, from mid-September, after a “change of strategic focus”.  They were Southend Airport’s main cargo freighter service.  The flights only started in October 2021. The operation has over time reduced from an original 18 flights per week to 7 since October 2021. Esken says there will be a change of strategic focus from air freight to road-based cargo, to “fulfil more customer demand locally.”  Many residents have had been frustrated at the overnight Amazon cargo from Southend Airport and called for them to be scrapped.

Blow for Southend airport as Ryanair departs

August 10th 2021

Southend is facing the prospect of no paying passengers as Ryanair pulled out its planes, a year after its rival easyJet had done the same. This is yet another setback for Southend airport’s owner Esken, the listed company previously known as Stobart Group.  The announcement that Ryanair has exercised an option to end its three-year contract at Southend. sent shares in Esken to all-time lows, closing down 1p, or 6 per cent, at 15¼p.  Esken said Ryanair’s withdrawal of its two planes based at the airport will have negligible financial impact mainly because there have not been any passenger services anyway.  Under its contract it was effectively paying Ryanair to operate from Southend, and Esken actually makes money from a portion of the fare from travellers coming in through the railway station it built next door — from which there haven’t been any revenues. The airport is now hoping to get business from Wizz Air, Europe’s third-largest budget airline. Wizz has committed to start flights at Southend from October, albeit just three a week to Romania and Lithuania.

Southend airport owners, Esken, to get £20 million loan from CGI, to keep it going

Southend Airport is to get a £20 million cash injection (over 3 years) to boost its recovery from the Covid pandemic. Airport owner, Esken, has agreed a loan with US private equity firm Carlyle Global Infrastructure (CGI) – which will lend £120 million to Esken, which can be converted into a 30% stake in the airport. They hope it will help the airport survive, and attract low cost airlines for holiday flights. Only 147,000 passengers flew through the airport in the financial year end February 28 – compared to 2.1 million the year before. Of these 147,000 passengers, 68,000 flew in March 2020 before travel restrictions took hold – so only about 78,000 used the airport since March 2020.

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Sir David Amess (Southend West MP) in plea to Southend Council to get night flights scrapped

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, has said that night flights at Southend Airport must be scrapped, as residents continue to battle sleepless nights. He has written to Southend Council leader Ian Gilbert pleading for his support in getting them banned, for the sake of residents. The Amazon cargo night flights have been the topic of heated debate since they launched in October 2019. The airport has permission for 120 night flights per month, but insists the number of flights is regularly much lower.  Council bosses have admitted it would be “very difficult” to get the flights scrapped, as the airport is acting inside their targets, and and are not breaking the law. The only way to get the night flights stopped is to have the quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement, from the council. The airport is desperate to make some money, due to the pandemic, and would not willingly give up night flights, which provide some income.  This is especially frustrating, when there are very few daytime flights, and many of the cargo planes are old and noisier than more modern planes.  There were actually 127 night flights departing the airport in March 2020, compared to just 78 last month.

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Southend Airport to pay out £86k due to runway extension noise, under the Land Compensation Act

A court has ordered that Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of 9 neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise, following the extension of the runway. in 2012  In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the 9 homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed. The claims for compensation are under the Land Compensation Act 1973. There is more noise, as larger planes land and take off from the airport.  The longer runway enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”. The Tribunal agreed that the extra noise had meant depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties.  In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.  The Land Compensation Act says it applies to cases where there have been alterations to runways or aprons.  ie. something physical has been built (not buildings).

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Tory councillors want an end to Southend night flights, largely bringing in Amazon packages

Conservative councillors have criticised Southend Airport’s night flights, pledging to “explore every avenue possible” to have them removed. They have made it clear they back “further controlled expansion” but want night flights removed. Some residents say they are being forced to take sleeping tablets because of the sleep disruption caused by night flights. The Conservative councillors said: “We will continue to explore every avenue possible to have the night flight quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement.”  Other councillors worry there will be a loss of jobs, and they dare not risk losing them, with so many jobs being lost due to Covid. There are residential roads very close to the airport boundary, with houses must too near the runway. The airport is permitted on average 4 flights per night, but sometimes has fewer.  The airport has cargo flights, bringing in Amazon goods. There are generally 3 per night between 1am and 5.30am, though there had been an earlier agreement not to have flights between midnight and 6am. This agreement has been abandoned.

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Southend Airport’s ‘strong and modest’ start to Covid recovery

5th October 2020

Airport bosses have insisted Southend will survive EasyJet’s decision to pull out, with “modest passenger numbers” and a “strong income” recorded despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Stobart, the owners of Southend Airport, have attempted to reassure investors that a number of route cancellations and the loss of EasyJet will not prove fatal.  The airport’s deal with Amazon to provide night-time cargo flights could be expanded. There are around 4 flights per night, on average, bringing in Amazon goods. “Bosses are confident the airport will benefit from an expected increase in short haul holidays in coming months.”  However, there is no certainty about what travel restrictions there will need to be, if Covid continues for months more.  There may scope for further development of logistics operations, given growth in online shopping demand through Amazon. The Stobart group has not done well financially in recent months.

Stobart job losses due to Covid pandemic and decreased air travel


More than 60 jobs are at risk at Manchester Airport as part of Stobart Aviation Services’ plans to cut 250 jobs across the UK.

The roles under threat are mainly baggage handlers. In Manchester it is 40% of Stobart Aviation Services’ workforce.

The company is also looking to reduce the number of people it employs at Southend and Stansted Airports by more than 60%. 

Southend Airport Amazon night flights to stay despite meeting with MP

3rd September 2020


Southend Airport: ‘Disappointment’ at Easyjet flight cuts

18 August 2020 (BBC)

Easyjet announced earlier that it will close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, with the loss of 670 jobs.   Due to the Covid pandemic, from 1 September no planes will fly to and from 21 destinations using Southend Airport. A reduced operation will run from Stansted and Newcastle.  A spokeswoman for the airport said the four Easyjet aircraft based there carried more than one million passengers in 2019.  “These are leisure-focused routes, which we expect to be attractive to other airlines,” she said. “As such, we are in active dialogue with airlines regarding their interest in capitalising on these well-established, profitable routes.” The Conservative MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, said: “I think in total there are 187 employees affected by this, but it’s much more important than that.”  He said the flights were a “great boost to the local economy”  [in reality, they just help boost the tourism deficit for the UK, by facilitating trips by British people to spend their holiday money abroad, not in the UK] but he did not expect Easyjet to return to the airport until as late as 2025.

EasyJet plans to close bases at Stansted, Newcastle and Southend – and cut staff by as much as 4,500

EasyJet says it has begun consultations on plans to close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports, though it will keep routes using those airports. It will no longer keep planes there, or base crew there. EasyJet may also be cutting its number of employees by up to a third, about 4,500 out of 15,000 overall.  About 1,300 cabin crew could lose their jobs, and also 727 pilots (which is about a third of the total). The Unite union said “There is no need for this announcement at this time, especially since Easyjet has taken a multi-million pound government loan which it ought to be putting to use defending UK jobs.” But there is little demand for flying at present, and no certainty about Covid in the coming months. Easyjet currently has 11 bases in the UK, with 163 aircraft, serving 546 routes. There are 7 aircraft based at Stansted, with 335 crew. At Southend, there are 4 aircraft and 183 crew; and at Newcastle there are 3 planes and 157 crew. The job cut proposals are not limited to the bases that may close. EasyJet does not expect 2019 levels of demand to be reached again until 2023.

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Flybe Guernsey-Heathrow link cancelled


Guernsey is losing its air link to Heathrow, Flybe has confirmed.  The route will not be part of the summer 2020 schedule and the last flight will be on 28 March. However, Flybe will be operating a service from Guernsey to London Southend from 2 May.

Last year, Guernsey paid Flybe a subsidy of £28 per passenger to keep the route running from March to October.   The daily Guernsey-Heathrow route started last year and was the first time in 20 years that the island had a connection with London’s largest airport.

It follows the announcement that Blue Islands, a franchise partner of Flybe, would be cancelling its routes from the island to Southend and Liverpool.

Southend Airport to be an Amazon parcel hub?

11 October 2019  (Apex)

Stobart Group owned Southend Airport is believed to have struck a deal with Amazon to be a parcel air freight hub.

Southend Airport announced it is launching a service providing ‘facilities and expertise’ with a ‘global logistics customer’ but declined to name the customer.

Local media attempted to confirm the deal between the two companies but both declined to comment. Stobart Group announced the deal to the Stock Exchange but again did not name its customer.

Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group, said: “The agreement will enable us to further diversify and add a new revenue stream for London Southend Airport and Stobart Aviation Services, and is expected to contribute towards Stobart Group’s underlying earnings.”

Local media reports suggest that the airport is to be a UK hub for European flights, with the parcels travelling between the airport and the Amazon distribution centres in Basildon and Tilbury.

A spokesman for Stobart added: “Stobart Group is pleased to announce it has signed an agreement with a global logistics customer to provide facilities and expertise to support the import and export of goods at London Southend Airport.

“The initial two-year agreement will see Stobart provide runway access and import/export facilities by converting existing hangarage on the north side of the runway, away from the south side-based commercial passenger operations. Operations will begin late this month after the deal was agreed.”

Grandmother complains after Southend airport expansion means 50 planes a day taxi at end of her garden

More planes using Southend airport have been causing noise nuisance and distress to local residents. A grandmother has complained as planes now taxi at the end of her garden, and there are 50 jets a day coming within 150ft of her fence. She says the planes going past, sometimes as often as every 20 minutes, with the noise and fumes, have left her and her husband miserable. “You can’t have a conversation in the garden with anyone because you can’t hear them.  When we are inside with the door closed we have to pause the TV until the plane has gone past. We worry about our grandchildren coming around and the enjoyment of having people over for BBQs is ruined. I love my garden and used to do a lot of gardening but now it is all spoilt with the noise and the smell.”  She has complained to the airport numerous times and is concerned the problem could worsen this summer when runways are expected to get busier.  It is very unsatisfactory when residential housing is as close to the taxiways as it is at Southend, and the quality of life of the residents is greatly reduced.

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Southend Airport celebrates its 1,000,000th Stobart Air passenger


Stobart plans to open a 24 hour private jet centre at Southend airport in November

London is Europe’s busiest city for private aviation, and Southend airport (some 65 km east of London) has become the latest airport to tap into the market. It has announced that the “Stobart Jet Centre” will open in November. Stobart – the owners of Southend airport – hope it will cater for 5,000 private flights per year by 2022, and will be open 24/7 for 364 days a year. That means plane noise on any night for nearby residents, but Stobart see the possibility of flying any time of the night as a big draw for London’s private jet users. [That is, if they can be bothered to travel all the way out to Southend …]  And it will be cheap.  Stobart says it is “…confident that London Southend Airport will become a refreshing, hassle-free alternative to London’s current, crowded private aviation terminals…. The airport is 42 miles from the heart of London’s West End, while chauffeur transfers are under an hour by road to central London. There are also helicopter transfers to and from Canary Wharf or Battersea Heliport.” London Southend said that with no slot restrictions, it will be able to offer faster departure routes outside of London airspace, reducing flight times. There are restrictions on night flights at Southend, to protect residents from night noise. But these apply to commercial flights, not private jets.

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Three bidders for 85% stake in Stobart Air

4 April 2016 (News & Star, Cumbria)

Three bidders have emerged to buy a controlling interest in Stobart Air, the airline behind plans for scheduled flights from Carlisle Airport. The News & Star reported in December that Stobart Group and the investment house Invesco were looking to sell their 85 per cent stake in the airline, which operates Aer Lingus Regional services.

Press reports in Ireland suggest that the Dublin-based Aviation Finance Company has tabled a bid, as has Stobart Air’s management led by its chief executive Sean Brogan.  And it is understood that Stobart Group is considering merging Stobart Air with the Irish carrier CityJet in a move that could create one of Europe’s largest regional airlines. It is not clear what, if any, impact a change of ownership at Stobart Air would have on plans for flights from Carlisle.

The Government confirmed in November that proposed routes from Carlisle to London Southend, Belfast and Dublin are among five to share a £7m start-up subsidy for new services from regional airports. Stobart Group owns Carlisle and Southend airports, giving a strong incentive for a Stobart-owned airline to operate services between them. That would no longer be the case if the company sold its stake.

At present, Stobart Group says, “developments at Carlisle airport are continuing as before”. Chief executive Andrew Tinkler has said that scheduled flights from Carlisle could start this year.


Solar farm built by Stobart at Southend airport – another allowed close to Bournemouth airport

A new 2.5 megawatt ‘Solar Photovoltaic Array’ has been built by Stobart Developments on 3.2 hectares of unused grassland at the north of the Southend airport site. The airport hopes around 20% of its annual electricity requirement will now be generated by the panels. There will be over 9,500 panels, “mounted on 3 metre high steel frames supported on approximately 2600 piles across 37 rows. The layout of the panels has been specially designed to prevent reflective glare affecting approaching aircraft and the air traffic control tower.” There had previously been concerns about glare from the panels affecting pilots. There is now also to be a solar farm under Bournemouth Airport’s flight path, about 720 metres to the west of the airport. It has been approved by planners at East Dorset District Council. Questions were initially raised over air passengers’ safety when the proposals were revealed, due to the glare and reflection on sunny days. The airport had objected to it, due to solar glare, saying “the effect on operations is pronounced and severe throughout the year, making aircraft operations unsafe if the development was to go ahead.” However, their complaints were then conditionally withdrawn after a “glint and glare” study was done.

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Southend airport wants to build an 8 acre solar farm on part of its land

Southend Airport is planning to build a solar farm on part of its land, which cannot be used for much else as it is in a flood plain area. This is land to the north of the main terminal. The plan is for 12,000 solar panels in 41 rows, spread over almost 8 acres of grassland. – and providing up to 20% of the airport’s electricity on some days. Council planners are recommending approval for the plans, even though councillors rejected an almost identical plan a few months ago. As the panels are on frames, they can be above the flood level, and the transformer building would be sited outside the flood plain. The EA objected to the previous application because it would lay on a flood plain, and has submitted a provisional objection this time on the same grounds. Airport officials say the panels will not interfere with the airport’s operations. The plan is that the panels will not disturb nearby badger setts. Rochford’s planning committee is due to vote on the application – on Thursday 20th May. There are still government subsidies for this sort of solar farm, as it is not taking up valuable agricultural land. Some other airports in sunnier countries have solar farms.

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Southend airport granted controlled airspace to reduce environmental impacts

2.2.2015 (ITV)

Controlled airpace is to be reintroduced over Southend airport in Essex after an increase in the flights. The airport says this will further safeguard aircraft on approach to and departure from the airport and minimise distance flown to reduce environmental impacts. The airport now has around 1 million passengers a year. Southend had controlled airspace until 1993 and when it was lifted aircraft could come within 2.5 miles and 2000 feet of the airport without having to talk to air traffic controllers.   “Safety and security are our number one priority. Controlled Airspace safeguards aircraft when they are approaching and departing the airport. Improving our efficiency by getting aircraft in and out of the airport without alterations and delays will also minimise the impact of the airport on the local community and is better for the environment.”


Southend airport had many more passengers in 2013 than in 2012, but much less profit

Southend Airport’s parent company Stobart Group has revealed earnings from its aviation division fell from £400,000 to £100,000 last year. Passenger numbers grew 38% to over one million and a newly completed terminal extension raised its capacity to 5 million. To stimulate further growth, the airport has entered into a new partnership with low-cost carrier Flybe to launch a new airline, Stobart Air, which will use two Flybe aircraft to launch 6 new routes to Europe (Antwerp, Caen, Groningen, Maastricht, Munster and Rennes). Stobart said “..there is still work to be done to improve profitability with renewed focus on revenue per passenger and controlling costs.” The company said it was continuing to develop plans for Carlisle Lake District Airport, but these remain dogged by ongoing challenges around planning. Southend airport had 9,476 air transport movements in 2013, which was an increase of 30.4% on 2012, and it had 969,940 passengers, an increase of 57.2% over 2012. So 57% more passengers in 2013 but 75% fall in profit. Aviation is an odd industry.

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After 2 winters Southend Airport has only now applied for a permit to discharge de-icer into local brook

The local paper has revealed that Southend Airport has been discharging de-icer into Prittle Brook for more than 2 winters. The airport’s owner, the Stobart Group, has only now applied for a permit from the Environment Agency to discharge up to 79,188 gallons (360 cubic metres) of “trade effluent consisting of deicer”into the waterway every day. Stobart said the application is for surface water running off in the winter. The local Castle Point Wildlife Group are concerned that even if diluted, the de-icer may harm the natural environment. John Fuller, coordinator of the South East Essex Friends of the Earth, said: “We are very concerned about this in case it has implications on human health. We understand the EA deems it within tolerable limits….. The fact that it has been going on for 2 years shows the controls on the airport are woefully inadequate.” Local fishermen are concerned about the potential pollution of their catches, which are not tested for this sort of pollution. Stobart claim the Environment Agency has monitored the situation and found “little or no impact on water courses and wildlife.” The EA will take comments on this application till 22nd May.

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Stobart’s Carlisle airport on hold, and cuts to Flybe and easyJet routes from Southend

April 26, 2014

Stobart Group’s aviation division has suffered another blow, just a month after a High Court judge quashed its plans for Carlisle Airport. Flybe and easyJet have axed routes from Stobart’s Southend Airport. Flybe has cancelled flights to Cologne after only one week in response to an announcement from Ryanair that it is launching a route from nearby Stansted to Cologne. Meanwhile, easyJet has reduced the number of planes based at Southend from 4 to 3, scrapping flights to Krakow and winter services to Jersey and Palma, Majorca. Flybe’s routes from Southend are operated by Stobart Air’s aircraft under a franchising agreement. Flybe’s other new routes to Rennes and Caen, Munster, Antwerp and Groningen will continue. Stobart had hoped the new routes would carry 200,000 passengers in 2015, rising to 700,000 by 2017. Stobart’s plans for Carlisle Airport had envisaged daily flights to Southend and Dublin, but that is held up by the legal challenges though Stobart will submit another planning application.

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Flybe scraps flights to Cologne from Southend Airport after Ryanair starts route from Stansted

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Echo: Flybe cancels flights from Southend Airport

FLYBE has cancelled flights from Southend  to Cologne after only a week as rival Ryanair announced flights from Stansted.  It feared losing passengers to Ryanair. Stobart Air, whose fleet Flybe uses in Southend, is trying to find a replacement or increase capacity on existing routes after claiming it would double the number of passengers using Southend Airport to more than two million in two years. Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city, was the best-known of six new routes Flybe announced from Southend on Thursday, April 3, and flights were due to start on June 5. But the regional carrier jettisoned the route on Thursday after Ryanair revealed it would start 28 flights a week between Cologne and north Essex from October 28.  The Echo understands Ryanair was planning Cologne flights well before Flybe announced the route, but Flybe’s decision to shelve the new destination was purely down to fears over competition from its rival. Flybe’s other new flights, to Rennes and Caen in northern France, Munster in Germany, Antwerp in Belgium and Groningen in the Netherlands, are still available.



Southend airport hopes it will reach 2 million passengers per year by 2015, up from below 1 million in 2013


Southend Airport is now expecting to carry 2 million passengers by 2015 – five years earlier than originally planned. It had said, only two months earlier, that it would reach 2 million passengers per year by 2020.  Passenger numbers at Southend were 970,000 in 2013 and are predicted to be 1.3 million this year. By contrast, before the arrival of easyJet, there were some 42,000 passengers in 2011.  A £10m extension to the airport terminal was formally opened by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in February 2014.  The extension marks the end of a £120m revamp by the Stobart Group, which bought the airport in 2008. The growth in numbers of flights has caused a lot more noise for local residents now finding themselves over-flown. The local community group, SAEN, say they will continue to oppose the airport’s expansion plans, due to the noise nuisance – and particularly if the airport tries to alter its operating hours. There is also more road congestion, as the airport is only served by one small road.


Southend Airport: Flybe to start 6 new routes to Northern Europe

25 March 2014

Another airline has announced it is to start flying out of London Southend Airport.  The airport has signed a deal with Flybe to create six new routes to Northern Europe. The destinations will be revealed next month. The deal is expected to bring 60 new jobs and 200,000 extra passengers to the airport.


Stobart Group sells stake in its truck brand to focus on biomass energy and Southend Airport

March 7, 2014

Stobart Group is to sell a controlling interest in its trucking business to the Isle of Man investment firm DBAY in a £280million deal. Stobart Group will sell a majority stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics to focus on biomass energy and expanding Southend Airport. Stobart will get £195.6million in cash from DBAY, as well as a 49% stake in the new company. William Stobart will head the new business and will own 6% of it. Markets gave the deal the thumbs down, sending shares down 7.75p to 141.75p. The sale includes a complex arrangement under which DBAY can use the Eddie Stobart brand for 4 years without paying. Then it can either buy the brand for use only in transport and logistics for £15million, pay £50million to use the brand however it wishes, or can pay £3million a year to license it. Stobart believes the trucking business has little room for growth and is selling it to focus on fast-growing Southend Airport and get into biomass generation. It believes the airport can increase passengers from 1 million a year to 5 million without much more investment.       Click here to view full story…


London Southend Airport opens new £10m extension

13.2.2014 (BBC)

The extension  is due to open to passengers, with 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 airport said the larger terminal would “ensure high levels of service” as passenger numbers grow. The airport claims: “the project could eventually create about 300 jobs due to more planes being based in Southend.”  The first phase of the extension, housing the arrivals areas, opened in June last year.   Retail and catering facilities are also due to be expanded in the future. The airport was bought by Stobart Group in 2008 and spent £100m on its revamp before it opened in February 2012. In 2013 the airport handled nearly a million travellers, but has said it hoped to increase passenger numbers to two million a year by 2020.


Southend Airport’s new £10m extension unveiled



Building a vast new airport on the Isle of Grain would close Southend Airport

January 15, 2014

If a large new airport is built on the Isle of Grain, Kent, as London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested, a clash of air space would mean Southend Airport – and City Airport in London – would probably need to close, the Airports Commission has warned in its Interim Statement. They said this could reduce the options available to low cost airlines and reduce the overall gains to airport capacity over the London area overall. They said that, in particular, it would be very challenging to manage the airspace with the 3 airports. Due to last-minute lobbying by the Mayor and Daniel Moylan, the Commission agreed to look at the £112 billion Isle of Grain scheme, put forward by Wembley Stadium designer Lord Norman Foster in more detail,in the first half of 2014, before deciding whether it should be included in the final short-list consultation starting in October. Southend airport has been emphasising how much money they have already invested in the airport. Nigel Holdcroft, leader of Southend Council, said: “The development of a major airport on the Isle of Grain would have adverse economic and environmental effects on Southend.”      Click here to view full story…


easyJet drops flights to Newquay and Edinburgh from Southend

1.1.2014       easyJet has scrapped flights to Edinburgh and Newquay from Southend. It is also scaling back its trips to Jersey and will now only operate 4 a week. This comes after a decision by easyJet in August to scrap flights to Belfast, on January 5.  The company would not reveal the reasons why but said they will “focus the flying schedule there on the routes with the greatest demand.” The airport said  “This summer they added an additional aircraft to the base and have consistently expanded the number of destinations on offer from Southend. We look forward to continuing and growing this relationship.” Flights to Edinburgh have been running since May, and the last will be in June.  “About 5% of our passengers flying in and out of Southend in 2013 used the Edinburgh services.” The Newquay route was launched in June 2013 and carried almost 8,000 passengers in the summer.  In October, easyJet’s UK commercial manager, Hugh Aitken, said in an extra flight would be added in August 2014.  Easyjet runs 25 flights to Edinburgh from other London airports.   It has also recently started flying from Southend to Tenerife.  Click here to view full story …..


EasyJet to fly Newquay to Southend 4 times per week in summer, after it ends Gatwick to Newquay route

October 8, 2013

EasyJet is to increase its weekly flights between Southend to Newquay from 3 to 4 over the summer period only. This comes after EasyJet recently announced it would not continue its flights from Gatwick to Newquay. Almost 8,000 passengers flew from Southend to Newquay this summer by EasyJet. EasyJet – which took over the Gatwick route from Flybe – said there is not enough demand to run a year-round service between Newquay and Southend, and these route from Gatwick was not financially viable for them. A Cornwall MP said the loss of the link to Gatwick would be a “blow to businesses across Cornwall”. EasyJet said : “Following Flybe’s decision to cease operating from London Gatwick to Newquay, Easyjet carefully and thoroughly examined the commercial viability of offering year-round services on the route. Unfortunately, after much consideration, all of the evidence clearly shows that there is insufficient demand to sustain a service using an A319 aircraft with 156 seats.”     Click here to view full story…


Centre for private jets at Southend wants to grow from 4 to 20 business jets per day

October 1, 2013    .

Southend Airport is hoping to increase the numbers of private jets it handles, and increase the number from some 3 – 4 per day at present, to more like 20 per day. Biggin Hill is its main local rival for business jets. In 2012, Biggin Hill dealt with 5,335 during the year, while Southend had 1,163. Stobart Air’s executive handling facility at London Southend Airport celebrated its first anniversary this July. In comparison, in 2012 London City airport had 264 business flights (the rest are commercial), Luton had 15,055 and Farnborough had 21,986 – so way ahead of the others. Southend claims that although it is further outside London than Biggin Hill, passengers arriving at Southend can travel into the City in little more than hour, are that they are more reasonably priced than some of their competitors. The airport says one major advantage of their executive handling facility is that it is open 24 hours a day with onsite Customs and Immigration services also available permanently. ie. night flight noise for Southend and Rochford residents nearby.    .Click here to view full story…


Consultation on Southend Airport Controlled Airspace application – till mid December

September 28, 2013    .

Now Southend has many more flights than a couple of years ago, the airport wants to have control of its immediate airspace(which it had years ago, when it was busier). There is a 12 week consultation at Southend on its plans to introduce controlled airspace around the airport. The consultation started on 20th September and ends on 19th December. Airspace users and local community groups including borough, local and parish councils, are being consulted, though individuals are discouraged from responding, unless they channel their responses through some of the consultee organisations. Currently aircraft are permitted to come within 2.5 miles and 2000 feet of the airport without having to talk to air traffic controllers, which can lead to unplanned alterations to an aircraft’s track and possible delays to scheduled aircraft. Controlled Airspace is a defined area of the airspace around an airport where any aircraft must communicate with Air Traffic Control. The final decision over whether to reinstate the Controlled Airspace rests with the CAA.   .Click here to view full story…


easyJet dropping Belfast to Southend route


EasyJet will drop its service from Belfast International to Southend from 6th January 2014. The removal of the route, billed as a twice-daily commuter service to London via the Essex seaside town, comes as the airline marks 15 years of flying from Belfast International.  EasyJet entered a 10-year partnership with Stobart Group to start flights to Belfast and other destinations from April 2012.  The Belfast route was marketed at commuters from Belfast to London who wished to avoid the hectic nature of the bigger London airports. Trains from a new station in Southend would reach central London in an hour. It cannot have been profitable.    Click here to view full story ….  but EasyJet is adding new flights from Belfast International to Jersey and Bordeaux.  Details.


Low flying Boeing 737 taking off full of fuel for Jeddah terrifies household in Southend

August 13, 2013

A family near Southend airport were left terrified after a plane loaded with enough aviation fuel to fly to the Middle East took off from the airport and narrowly missed roof tops. The white Boeing 737 jet took off for Jeddah at 3.20pm on Thursday 8th, and passed very close to two homes in Prince Avenue, Westcliff. Rresidents were very alarmed, and one reported that the plane appeared to be at an altitude of only some 250 feet, rather than the usual 450 feet. The plane had been at the airport for maintenance and was not carrying passengers. An elderly lady with heart problems was left very scared and alarmed, and continues to be anxious whenever planes come overhead (which easyJet planes do many times every day now). The airport said: “There were no safety concerns raised by air traffic regarding this flight and its routing complied with the airport’s noise requirements.”     Click here to view full story…


Southend Airport boss, Alistair Welch, quits – reason not disclosed

July 20, 2013

In a surprise announcement, managing director Alastair Welch, who has led Southend airport since before the Stobart Group bought it for £21 million in 2008, said he would leave at the end of July. Paying tribute to Mr Welch Stobart Group boss, Andrew Tinkler, said a team had been put in place to ensure the smooth running of the airport and its continued success. Roger Clements, who has been working for Stobart Air for some time, will take over as managing director in August, with David Lister as airport operations director and Graham Moorhouse as chief financial officer. Andrew Tinkler said: “The transformation of the airport has been led by Alastair Welch, who has been supported by a dedicated, hard-working team. Alastair has decided that, with the redevelopment of the airport all-but complete, the time is now right for him to move on to new challenges.” Mr Welch has overseen installation of a new control tower, railway station, runway extension and terminal, attracted EasyJet to use the airport, got a massive increase in passengers and flights, and the one millionth passenger. Mr Welch was “unavailable for comment.” Reason for his leaving not publicised nor information on his next move.     Click here to view full story…


Bigger terminal at revamped Southend Airport – now with increased numbers of Thomson and First Choice flights

June 5, 2013

Work is progressing on the Southend airport terminal extension, with sections opening in June, October, November and December. In addition to the easyJet flights, to some 12 holiday destinations, there are now also flights by Thomson and First Choice. These are expected to grow rapidly by next year. By summer 2014 Thomson and First Choice will be flying twice a week to Palma, and adding Ibiza to their schedule – tripling their service from Southend Airport in 12 months. The airport is selling its services on its fast processing of passengers, and it wants to attract many from the local catchment area, on grounds of convenience. The travel companies PR talks of …enhancing “the holiday experience for our customers.” Stage 1 of the Southend Airport terminal became operational a year ago and is some 100 metres from the new railway station. The airport hopes passenger numbers will grow to 2 million/ year by 2020. There is the usual hype about some 300 jobs being created. The unfortunate reality is that by encouraging more Brits to holiday abroad, and spend their holiday money abroad, the net effect is that jobs are lost from the local economy, and the UK economy.    Click here to view full story…


Over 1,000 claims for compensation from Southend Airport due to loss in value of homes, because of aircraft noise

June 5, 2013

Southend Airport – which has had a huge and very rapid rise in the number of aircraft using the airport over the past year – has received more than 1,000 claims for compensation over aircraft noise. Homeowners nearby are concerned that the airport is reducing the value of their properties, due to the noise. The airport has said it will honour residents’ compensation claims if it is proven their homes have lost value because of its activities. Jon Fuller, of local group SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) said that estate agents are giving strong indications local residents must expect many thousands of pounds less than they expect when they sell their homes. Though house prices in the area are generally fairly buoyant, if houses are close to the airport or on the flight path prices are suppressed. The airport’s CEO, Alistair Welch said people can make a compensation claim up to a year after the new terminal is finished. Surveyors, Michael Marriott, who are helping people submit claims say they can only claim for nuisances arising from the use of the runway extension. Nuisances arising from the use of the airport which do not depend upon the extension will be disregarded.      Click here to view full story…


Southend residents urged to respond to the JAAP consultation that encourages expansion of the airport. Consultation April 2013

April 4, 2013

There was a JAAP (Joint Area Action Plan) consultation at Southend airport and its environs. The consultation started in February and ended on 10th April. The JAAP refered to a range of policies that support further expansion at the airport. The JAAP, once adopted, will form part of the Development Plan for Rochford District and Southend-on-Sea Borough. The council documents were not very clear, so local group SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) advised residents how to respond. Some of the issues in the JAAP are that Southend Airport is surrounded on all sides by large numbers of houses, and local councils have done anything to limit or reduce the number of people who suffer from aircraft noise. Also that from the flights by EasyJet this year, the overwhelming majority of passengers are UK citizens who are travelling abroad, not foreign tourists attracted to the Southend area. Job claims were not credible and safety issues were questioned.    Click here to view full story…


Second planning application to extend the airport terminal 

19.2.2013      The airport applied on 3rd January 2013 for a second extension of the terminal building. Work is still going on to extend the terminal by 90 metres, in work applied for last year. This second application – which is expanding the airport by a process of “creep” – would be (it is claimed) for immigration checks, and would be 10 metres by 80 metres in size. There is currently no deadline date for comments, so these can still be submitted. The documents are difficult to access on the Rochford Borough Council website, with little effort being made to ensure the public can see and understand them. The application number is 12/00751/FUL and information can be see at terminal expansion application. One page of the main document can be seen at Second southend terminal application Jan 2013 By  extending the terminal in smaller stages, the airport is endeavouring to avoid the environmental checks that would be necessary for a larger application. See under Southend Airport News for more on the terminal.

EasyJet flights

EasyJet started its flights from Southend on 2nd April 2012.  

They say there will be 70 easyJet flights per week. They will start a ski flight to Geneva at the end of the year. The easyJet launch programme includes family destinations, city breaks and  a few business routes.

There will be 12 destinations,   Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Faro, Ibiza, Jersey, Majorca (Palma) and Malaga.  There will also be two routes to Ireland by Aer Lingus, to Waterford and to Dublin.  Geneva will commence from December and Venice from February 2013.

Amsterdam is the most popular route to and from Southend. 

EasyJet say Southend is their 11th UK base, bringing 3 new A319s and “over 150 employees” to the airport. They expect over 800,000 passengers in the first year. 

Opening of Southend Airport’s new terminal and runway extension

March 5, 2012    On 5th March Southend held its official opening of its new terminal building, and of its runway extension that is now completed. Local opponents fought a long and hard battle against the runway extension. At present the airport has just one destination airport – Waterford in Ireland. On 2nd April, easyJet flights to bucket-and-spade Spanish destinations start (Malaga, Ibiza and Mallorca) taking tourists and their money out of the UK. There will be 20-30 passenger daily flights this year, but Stobart hopes to eventually carry up to 2 million passengers annually and plans to extend the terminal further this summer. easyJet came to Southend due to cheaper landing charges than at Stansted. Some passengers will find the empty terminal and the easy train journey from London’s Liverpool Street easier than a trip to Stansted or Luton. Alistair Welch, the CEO, says he expects there to be 500 jobs created at the airport this year. 500? Click here to view full story…


 This is what SAEN and local residents have fought hard to oppose:

An extended runway and an increase in flights at Southend Airport would mean:

There is background information from SAEN about their campaign against the runway extension, and their reasons for it, at

Southend Airport: Payment on proven compensation claims

Southend Airport terminal

An airport has pledged to honour resident’s compensation claims if it is proven their properties in Essex have lost value because of its activities.  More than 1,000 people have issued claims against Southend International Airport where flights have increased.   Passenger numbers are climbing and have reached 700,000 in the past year bringing many extra flights.  Jon Fuller, of Stop Airport Expansion and Noise, said: “Estate agents are giving us very strong indications local residents must expect many thousands of pounds less than they expect when they sell their homes. House prices in this area are generally fairly buoyant but as soon as they are close to the airport or on the flight path prices are suppressed.” Mr Welch said: “People who believe they are entitled to compensation can make a claim up to a year after the new terminal is finished. “Each claim will be subjected to a detailed and thorough assessment. “But we will certainly meet our responsibilities if those claims are proven.”


Southend residents urged to respond to the JAAP consultation that encourages expansion of the airport

April 4, 2013

Southend and Rochford Councils are currently conducting a JAAP (Joint Area Action Plan) public consultation on Southend airport and its environs. The consultation has now been extended to 26th April.  The JAAP refers to a range of policies that support further expansion at the airport.   It is important that local people living in the vicinity of the airport respond, as they will be affected by proposed changes. The JAAP, once adopted, will form part of the Development Plan for Rochford District and Southend-on-Sea Borough. The council documents and process are not very clear, so local group SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) are advising residents how to respond. Some of the issues in the JAAP are that Southend Airport is surrounded on all sides by large numbers of houses, and local councils have done nothing to limit or reduce the number of people who suffer from aircraft noise. Safety issues associated with the public safety zones have also been identified. The claim that expansion at the airport is creating jobs is also challenged. In the first year of operation it has become clear that the overwhelming majority of passengers are UK citizens who are travelling abroad, not foreign tourists attracted to the Southend area. The most popular destination offered by easyJet is Amsterdam, which is attracting entirely new passengers, sucking ever more money out of the Essex/London economy. The job creation claims are not credible and have been exposed as such.   Click here to view full story…

950 homeowners seeking compensation from Southend Airport

21st March 2013

ST 1,000 homeowners have submitted compensation claims to Southend Airport for a loss of value to their homes – with hundreds more expected. Surveyors submitted at least 950 claims from people who believe the extension of the airport’s runway has cut their house price in the first week since applications opened. hartered surveyor Michael Marriott, who submitted more than 650 claims on Monday and is preparing to hand in about 50 more, said: “It’s quite evident that there is a significant number of people who are feeling aggrieved enough to make a claim. The airport has to compensate householders who can prove an increase in noise, vibration, dust, smell, light pollution, discharge or fumes as a result of the airport’s expansion has devalued their homes, under a law called the Land Compensation Act. Applications opened on March 9, the day after the anniversary of the runway extension opening. Click here to read full article



EasyJet launches new route from Southend to Newquay

6.12.2012     easyJet has announced that it will be further expanding its route offering from  Southend Airport with a new service to Newquay, from Summer 2013. The new 3 times weekly service which departs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays is expected to attract almost 10,000 passengers each year with the inaugural flight taking off from Southend Airport on 20 June 2013.  It talks about this fast connection to the “English Riviera” and its great beaches, restaurants and attractions.  Fares start from £30.99 per person (including taxes) based on two passengers flying on the same booking. “We are sure Newquay is going to prove popular with Essex travellers for both short breaks and longer staycations – not just for its surfing, but also for the simple and easy access it provides to the much admired Cornish coast.  EasyJet has also announced new services to Krakow and Berlin  launching June,2013 bringing the number of routes served from London Southend Airport to 14.    Click here to view full article …..

London Southend Airport to begin terminal extension in November

October 29, 2012

Southend airport is set to begin a €12m terminal extension project in early November 2012. The process will be in three phases. The first phase will be construction of a new arrivals facility with completion scheduled by the end of May 2013. Completion of the project will see expansion of the terminal building to 90m long, a rise in number of check-in desks/baggage drop off points and adding space for passengers in security. The Departure Lounge will be expanded and there will be changes in Arrivals. The airport anticipates the final phase to be finished ahead of Christmas 2013. They hope the number of passengers will top 2 million by 2020.    Click here to view full story…


Passengers up 60% at Southend Airport in May compared to April

21st June 2012   Southend Airport is continuing to rise.  The latest statistics published by the CAA show 66,700 people flew via the airport during May. The figure is a marked increase on April’s total of 41,600 – the first month of easyJet flights. Meanwhile, passenger numbers for the same destinations from Stansted fell by more than 40,800 in May (even more than in April – below). Alastair Welch, Southend Airport’s managing director, said their target remains to reach two million passengers a year by 2020. EasyJet began flights from Southend to Barcelona, Belfast and Amsterdam on April 2, alongside existing Aer Arann fights to Waterford, Ireland.  Two days later, flights to Alicante and Faro were added, and routes to Malaga, Mallorca, Ibiza and Jersey followed at the end of the month. Aer Arann’s new flights to Dublin, which launched on May 10, attracted nearly 3,500 passengers. In comparison, the number of people using Stansted’s flights to the Irish capital fell by more than 5,500.  Details …

Passengers choose Southend over rival


Popular – easyJet has done well in its first month at Southend
Popular – easyJet has done well in its first month at Southend AIR passengers are choosing to fly to and from Southend’s revamped airport rather than Stansted, new figures suggest. Statistics published by the CAA show 41,600 people flew via the airport during the first month of easyJet flights. Passenger numbers for Stansted fell by more than 21,300 for the same destinations in April. Alastair Welch, Southend Airport’s managing director, welcomed the figures, saying they meant about 70% of seats  had been filled.  Because the Southend and Stansted operations are so different, direct comparisons are impossible, but the first month’s figures seem to suggest Southend has taken a large bite out of Stansted’s flights to the same destinations.   Details …..

London Southend Airport terminal extension approved

April 23, 2012

Southend airport has been granted approval for the extension of its terminal building by Rochford Council. There will also be five more aircraft stands. Despite strong opposition, only one member of the public was permitted to speak against the application. Only two councillors voted against. Work on the extension will start later this year. The new terminal was opened in March, but the extension will add another 90 metes to it, more than doubling its size, with more check-in desks and baggage drop off points. more security screening channels, larger arrivals and departures lounges, more retail etc. It has emerged that Anglian Water were not informed of the application. SAEN understands that the water company is less than happy, as the new terminal as it stands was only just approved as it took the sewage system up to 100% capacity. The extension will exceed capacity. he airport is looking at 6 million passengers per year by 2020, rather than the 2 million previously anticipated.    Click here to view full story…

EasyJet announce new route to Venice from Southend airport

20.4.2012      EasyJet has today announced that it will begin operating a new route from London Southend Airport to Venice – the first Italian route from the new airport. Venice will take the total number of destinations from the airline’s newest base to five European countries and two domestic routes. The first is on  8 February 2013.  easyJet currently operate more than 70 flights a week from London Southend to nine destinations across Europe from Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Ibiza, Jersey, Majorca and Malaga. Geneva will commence from this autumn.  link 

London Gateway port development – to open in 2013 – a few miles west of Southend

April 20, 2012    Opening in the fourth quarter of 2013, London Gateway is set to become the premier UK logistics centre. When fully developed London Gateway port will handle 3.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) annually and the adjacent logistics park will be the largest in Europe. It is about 4 miles south of Basildon and about 7 miles west of Southend on Sea. DP World is a company based in Dubai. There is likely to be a connection between Stobart buying Southend airport, and the new mega-port close by.    Click here to view full story…


EasyJet flights from Southend to 9 destinations start on 2nd April

March 26, 2012     EasyJet starts its flights from Southend on 2nd April. They say there will be 70 easyJet flights per week. They will start a ski flight to Geneva at the end of the year. The easyJet launch programme includes family destinations, city breaks and a few business routes. There will be 9 destinations, rising to 10 with the addition of Geneva. Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona Berlin, Faro, Ibiza, Jersey, Majorca and Malaga. Amsterdam is proving the most popular route to and from Southend. There will also be two routes to Ireland by Aer Lingus, to Waterford and to Dublin. EasyJet say Southend is their 11th UK base, bringing 3 new A319s and “over 150 employees” to the airport. They expect over 800,000 passengers in the first year.    Click here to view full story…

Opening of Southend Airport’s new terminal and runway extension

March 5, 2012     On 5th March Southend held its official opening of its new terminal building, and of its runway extension that is now completed. Local opponents fought a long and hard battle against the runway extension. At present the airport has just one destination airport – Waterford in Ireland. On 2nd April, easyJet flights to bucket-and-spade Spanish destinations start (Malaga, Ibiza and Mallorca) taking tourists and their money out of the UK. There will be 20-30 passenger daily flights this year, but Stobart hopes to eventually carry up to 2 million passengers annually and plans to extend the terminal further this summer. easyJet came to Southend due to cheaper landing charges than at Stansted. Some passengers will find the empty terminal and the easy train journey from London’s Liverpool Street easier than a trip to Stansted or Luton. Alistair Welch, the CEO, says he expects there to be 500 jobs created at the airport this year. 500? Click here to view full story…

Planning applications at Southend Airport, including terminal extension and new carpark

Date added: March 1, 2012

There are currently three airport-related planning applications being considered relating to Southend Airport. A proposed extension to the brand new terminal is Phase 2, and would see the terminal building becoming 90 metres longer. The number of check in desks / baggage drop off points will increase, as will the amount of security screening channels. The Departure Lounge and the Arrivals area will be enlarged. Also an enhanced baggage reclaim facilities, a larger immigration area, and more retail and catering. There is also a speculative application by a local builder, to make money out of his land as a car park. And it has been noticed that Stansted staff are needing homes to rent, while being relocated to Southend. So much for more local jobs. Click here to view full story…


Southend Tory MPs line up to fight estuary airport proposals

January 20, 2012    Two MPs have publicly opposed plans for the estuary airport. Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris and James Duddridge MP for Rochford and Southend East, fear the plan would be detrimental to south Essex. Mrs Harris, who met with London mayor Boris Johnson before Christmas, said: “I will be opposing anything which would spoil the tranquillity of my constituency. Mr Duddridge added: “I do not think this airport is right, sensible, realistic or deliverable.”  [However, the worrying feature is that some in Southend want to press for expansion instead at Manston, which would be deeply unacceptable to people there. This sort of passing the buck is not sensible, and does nobody any favours] . Click here to view full story…

Runway invasion at Southend airport by Plane Stupid and Climate Rush

29th October 2011    15 activists from Plane Stupid, and Climate Rush, entered Southend airport at 9am, got onto the runway, and stayed there for over an hour, before being arrested. They did a dance routine dressed as pilots and cabin crew, and planned to put up some solar panels. The protest was against the planned increase in flights from Southend in 2012, and the planned 300 metre runway extension. Protestors said the expansion will not create as many jobs as could be created by building renewable energy instead – saying “we need solar power, not plane power.”   Click here to view full story…


London Southend Airport train station opens on line to London

A new rail link between Southend Airport and London’s Liverpool Street station was officially opened by Theresa Villiers, the Transport Minister, on 21st September.  This has been built to benefit from the 2012 Olympics.  The station eliminates the former need to change at Rochford to access the airport by train. Trains will also stop at Stratford, the main Olympic site. The journey time to central London will be 53 minutes, around 8 minutes longer than the journey to London from Stansted Airport. The time from Southend to Stratford is 44 minutes.
The airport says it is “aiming to give passengers with hand luggage a ‘plane-to-train’ time of just 15 minutes, with a maximum 4-minute wait at security checkpoints in the other direction.” Also that this will give a faster ‘train to plane’ time than any other London Airport once the new £10 million terminal, opposite the station, is opened. The terminal is due to be completed in October.
From April 2012 there will be 70 new easyJet flights  per week to and from European destinations.
Southend airport also confirmed in September that a new German carrier, Jetisfaction, will soon offer regular services to and from Germany.  It seems to just have occasional flights from Southend to Munster, starting from November.

WORK on Southend Airport’s new passenger terminal is nearing completion.

 2.8.2011 (Southend Echo) The £10 million building will be completed in October and is taking shape opposite the new railway station. Airport bosses say the terminal has been designed to give customers the shortest possible journey from check-in to plane to ease their experience. Jonathan Rayner said it will take less than 15 minutes for people getting off the plane to be at the station platform.


EasyJet to start flying from Southend airport in April 2012

16th June 2011    easyJet hopes to begin operating from Southend airport and will carry around 800,000 passengers in the first 12 months from its new base.  It hopes to start flights at Southend from April 2012, where a multimillion pound terminal will open this autumn. Under a 10-year partnership with Stobart Group, easyJet will operate 70 flights a week to a number of European destinations including Barcelona, Ibiza and Faro.  Around 150 easyJet staff will work at the airport.   (Guardian)  Click here to view full story…

Judicial Review of the Southend Borough Council decision on Southend Airport’s expansion plans

Local campaigners applied for permission to get a judicial review into the local authority’s decision to approve the runway extension.  In April 2011 this was refused.  There are a lot of news items on the SAEN website about the long procss of fighting the runway extension at SAEN News


Court of Appeal refuses Southend campaigners application for JR on Southend Runway extension

27th July 2011   An appeal by SAEN in the Court of Appeal against the decision to refuse a Judicial Review of Southend Council’s grant of  permission for a runway extension has failed. However, SAEN says it is not the end of the story. Their legal team are exploring other options and there are further decisions to be made by the Sec of State before the Airport can start building – including a decision on the stopping up of Eastwoodbury Lane which is not due till September.     Click here to view full story…

Southend Air Traffic Control Tower and Station opened

19th July 2011    Minister for the Thames Gateway, Bob Neill MP, opened the first of the airport’s completed new development projects – a state-of-the-art air traffic control tower, which has actually been operational since March.  Southend airport is also working on various developments, including a new dedicated train station – now open, with services to Stratford – new terminal building, runway extension and a new hotel. They want this to make money from the Olympics      Click here to view full story… 

SAEN letter to Daily Mail about proposed easyJet flights from Southend

11th July 2011   EasyJet’s recent announcement was a political move by both parties. Stobart want to pressure the Government into bringing in the result of the Public Inquiry to approve the closure of Eastwoodbury Lane, which runs across the current end of the runway. While EasyJet want to lean on Stansted and Luton to lower their landing charges. The extension to the runway is by no means a done deal, with vital decisions not being made until October or later. (SAEN)   Click here to view full story…

Tree pruning around Southend Airport leads to fears about low flights

22nd July 2011     The pruning of trees in the flightpath of Southend Airport has caused concerns about low-flying aircraft. Trees in the council-owned Millennium Park have been cut back. Airport bosses said because the trees could obstruct planes, it is a legal requirement for the work to be done by the council. Councillors and residents fear it suggests planes will fly low over densely-populated areas. Just how low are these planes planning to fly over homes?


EasyJet to start flying from Southend airport

16th June 2011    It hopes to begin operating from Southend airport and will carry around 800,000 passengers in the first 12 months from its new base.  It hopes to start flights at Southend from April 2012, where a multimillion pound terminal will open this autumn. Under a 10-year partnership with Stobart Group, easyJet will operate 70 flights a week to a number of European destinations including Barcelona, Ibiza and Faro.  Around 150 easyJet staff will work at the airport.   (Guardian)  Click here to view full story…

Proposed new easyJet flights from Southend show just how few new jobs low cost airlines produce

16th June 2011    The news that Easyjet will be operating 70 flights per week from Southend Airport within the next year is a bitter blow that will fill residents with dread. But this announcement undermines the entire case for expansion at Southend Airport. EasyJet has confirmed that the 800,000 passengers it intends to carry will result in the creation of JUST 150 new jobs. LSA previously claimed that 2 million passengers would result in the creation of 1,130 jobs.  (SAEN)     Click here to view full story…

Southend: A fresh bid to halt the runway, by a man from Cumbria

18th May 2011     Southend Airport is facing yet another challenge to its runway extension plans – through the European courts. Former aviation consultant Peter Elliott wants to overturn Southend Council’s decision to allow the runway extension, made in January last year and approved last April. Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal refused to allow Mr Elliot to even apply for a judicial review. But now he will file applications with the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.   Click here to view full story…

London 2012 Olympics – Temporary Controlled Airspace Consultation

30th March 2011     A consultation from NATS and Stobart Air has started, and lasts till 26th May 2011, on temporary airspace changes during the main Olympics, from 16th July to 15th Aug 2012.  NATS expects many more planes, and many are likely to be private jets, bringing in dignitaries etc.  However, the consultation rules out environmental stakeholders, as it says the changes are temporary so they need to have their views taken into account.      Click here to view full story…

Aer Arann starts Southend flights to Waterford and Galway

29th March 2011     Aer Arann now offers direct daily flights from Southend to Waterford and four-times weekly to Galway. On the three days a week without a direct service, passengers for Galway will be able to fly via Waterford. Southend airport is currently undergoing development which will see an extended runway, a new rail link with central London and a new terminal open by 2012. Southend hopes for some more routes eventually. Click here to view full story…

Transport Minister orders Public Inquiry of Southend Airport runway extension road closure

25th February 2011    Philip Hammond has called a Public Inquiry into the Stopping Up (closure) of Eastwoodbury Lane. SAEN learned the news in a letter from the National Transport Casework Team. The Minister’s decision was taken in the light of objections to the Stopping Up order from members of the public, including members of SAEN. The closure of the road essential to the airport’s plan to extend its runway. The economic, environmental and social costs of the road closure outweigh any benefit.  Click here to view full story…

Southend Judicial Review applicant wins right to oral hearing

9.2.2011    Southend campaigners have learned that a renewal of claim for permission to apply for JR has been filed with the High Court.  This means that a 20-minute hearing in front of a High Court judge will take place later this year, perhaps within 2 months.  All grounds for refusal are being challenged by the lawyers pursuing the case. This means the initial refusal is effectively meaningless, and the decision will be taken by the judge presiding over the Oral Hearing.    Click here to view full story…

High Court initial refusal of legal challenge to Southend Airport plan

3rd February 2011    The High Court has refused permission for the Judicial Review being pursued by a member of the local group, Stop Southend Extension Now (SAEN) against the Southend Council decision to allow a runway extension. The situation is not as straight-forward as this makes it sound and the media and airport supporters are under the impression that it’s all over for opponents. The applicants’ next stage would be to apply for an Oral Hearing in the next week.       Click here to view full story…

Flights from Southend to Ireland to start in March

1.2.2011  Aer Arann has confirmed regular passenger services will fly, twice a day, between Southend and Waterford, in the south-east of the Republic, and Galway, on the west coast.  Tickets went on sale yesterday.  Stobart last autumn agreed a 5-year deal with Aer Arann to operate flights for up to 300,000 people a year from Southend. Southend currently only has scheduled Flybe passenger flights to the Channel Islands part of the year.   Click here to view full story …

Southend Airport boss, Alastair Welch, says Court challenges will not stop expansion

21st January 2011    Alastiar Welch gave South Essex Area Forum  an update about how work on the airport’s new terminal building, hotel, railway station and control tower is going. He says this is forging ahead despite two applications for judicial review of the Southend decision to allow the runway extension. The airport has also started building a new link road, which will run be between Eastwoodbury Lane and Nestuda Way, and will allow for the runway to be extended by 300m.     Click here to view full story…

Southend Airport announce 5-year deal with bankrupt Aer Arann

13th October 2010      Southend Airport says they have hopes for a new deal secured with a low cost airline. The 5 year contract with Aer Arann will create a number of routes between Southend and Ireland. The details of the routes were being finalised but an announcement would be made shortly. The airline hopes it will carry 300,000 passengers starting in March. Aer Aran entered bankruptcy protection in August after suffering losses of 18m euros since 2008. (BBC)     Click here to view full story…


Southend Airport announce 5-year deal with bankrupt Aer Arann

13th October 2010          

Southend Airport says they have hopes for a new deal secured with a low cost
airline. The 5 year contract with Aer Arann will create a number of routes between
Southend and Ireland. The details of the routes were being finalised but an announcement
would be made shortly. The airline hopes it will carry 300,000 passengers starting
in March. Aer Aran entered bankruptcy protection in August after suffering losses
of 18m euros since 2008. (BBC)         Click here to view full story…

Southend gets award obtainig planning permission for a runway extension without a public enquiry

 28th September 2010      

Just that. Amazing. Not a joke. “This achievement was deemed by the judges to
have fundamental and long lasting effects on air transport in the region, which
would greatly enhance the airport’s business and result in increased services
for the community when it is completed in 2011.”   Click here to view full story… 

Southend Council taken to court over runway extension planning permission

28th July 2010      
Southend group, Stop Airport Extension Now, is aware that an application for
permission to apply for a Judicial Review is being lodged with the High Court.
The claimant is a local resident SAEN member very concerned at the decision by
Southend Borough Council to grant planning permission for an extended runway and
has SAEN’s full support. There is particular concern over the potential impact
of night flights and the economic case has not been made. (SAEN)       Click here to view full story…

Southend Airport expansion says it is ‘on target for 2012’

29th June 2010    

At Southend airport,  the new railway station, with trains to Liverpool Street,
is nearing completion. The new control tower is due to be operational by February.
Plans for a 129-bedroom hotel at the airport have been “unveiled”, and the airport
is hoping to cash in on Olympic traffic in 2012. Roadworks to divert Eastwoodbury
Lane to make way for the extended runway will begin in the autumn, and plans for
the new terminal building are starting. (Echo)         Click here to view full story…

SAEN are asking Southend Council to support night flight ban

11th June 2010       There is a full council meeting of Southend Borough Council on Thursday 17th
June at which SAEN understand that a possible night flight ban may be discussed.
However, this would most likely be for a short period of the night – probably
3 hours. This does no-one any good as it will simply push flights into the remaining
part of the night when people will still want uninterrupted sleep. SAEN are encouraging
people in the area to write to councillors before 17th.           Click here to view full story…



Eddie Stobart to take to the skies from Southend

7th April 2010        
 Stobart bought Southend airport 3 years ago in a £21m deal. Although it is currently
a hub for aircraft maintenance and private business jets, a partnership between
Stobart and a European airline could transform Southend. Stobart hopes to carry
2m passengers a year to and from North Africa and southern Europe in time for
the start of the Olympics in 2012. It is suggested planes with Stobart livery
might each be given a girl’s name, like the trucks.    (FT)     Click here to view full story…

Southend: The camp, the bling and a cat called Ginger

22nd March 2010      

Plane Stupid reports. Last week, without any fanfare or proper consultation Southend
declared that they would be expanding their airport. For a flavour of what might
be in wait for the airport, here is the story of a cat, a king, and a camp called
Bling… For 3 weeks, to prevent trees being destroyed, Cuckoo Corner was occupied
24/7 holding off the chainsaws and building a small but sturdy activist centre.
Southend council has viciously taken 12 to court.       Click here to view full story…

Southend Airport expansion gets go-ahead from Government

19th March 2010        

 The government has approved plans for a runway extension at Southend. John Denham
claimed the right to a final say on the extension earlier this year, and could
have called for a public inquiry on the decision made by Southend Council planners.
Opponents are concerned about a rise in passenger numbers to 2m a year and the
adverse environmental effect on the Southend area. The council, as usual, were
persuaded the airport would bring much needed jobs. (BBC)         Click here to view full story…


Southend Council wins order to evict Camp Cuckoo protesters

18th March 2010

 Up to 17 members of Saxon King In Priory Park and Parklife are camping out on
land by the roundabout, which the council is planning to clear to widen the road
and have called for more people to join them. Southend Council has been granted
an order to evict protesters from the camp. Many mature trees have already been
felled to make way for road expansion, part of which is to ease access to the
airport.       Click here to view full story…



Southend Airport Joint Area Action Plan meeting postponed

 28th Jan 2010     Echo. Meeting postponed from 3rd Feb, awaiting decision on call
in, by Secretary of State.  
Click here to view full story …..

Stobart plans Southend airport expansion

23rd January 2010     

 Stobart Group said it hoped the government would make a swift decision on its
plan to expand Southend airport after it received local council approval earlier
in the week. Stobart branched out into aviation in December 2008 by buying Southend
airport in a deal worth up to £21m. It envisages increasing the number of passengers
from 48,000 in 2008 to 2m in 2019. For this to happen, by extending the runway
to allow larger aircraft to take off and land. (FT)      
Click here to view full story…


Southend runway extension given go-ahead

22nd January 2010        
Go-ahead has been given for a 300 metre runway extension at Southend.   The Development Control Committee voted 14 to 3 in favour..but planners must now refer proposals to the government before work can start. Secretary of State at DCLG, John Denham, has claimed the right to a final say on the extension and may call for a public
inquiry. Campaigners are concerned about a rise in passenger numbers to 2m a year,
and that expansion will have an adverse impact on the Southend area. (BBC)           Click here to view full story…


Southend Airport plan: Government intervenes with Article 14 Direction

19th January 2010     The runway extension at Southend Airport will not now go ahead without the authorisation
of a Government minister. Communities Secretary, John Denham, has issued an Article
14 Direction about the application to extend the runway. The effect of the direction
is to prevent Southend Council granting planning permission without his authorisation.
It will still be considered at Development Control Committee on 20th. (Southend
Standard)   Click here to view full story…

Southend council tax up almost 4% – with 2 million to be spend on roads near airport

 5th January 2010      

Families in Southend face another council tax rise of 3.95 % over the coming
year.   The increase equates to 82p per week more for an average Band D property
or £43 a year – rising from £1,086 to £1,129.   About £2m will be spent on improved
roads around the airport – which is planning a runway extension, connected to
the Olympics. (Echo)          Click here to view full story…

The Southend Borough Council planning committee are due to sit to discuss the
runway extension application on the 20th January 2010
02.01.10 Leigh Council to object to Southend Airport expansion
16.10.09 Southend Airport expansion plans submitted
10.10.09 Southend Airport agree flights cap

Huge opposition to Southend airport expansion revealed

6th November 2009        

Southend campaigners have succeeded in forcing Rochford District Council to release
figures on its consultation on expanding the airport. The council refused to release
figures, but following a FoI request by the local group, SAEN, the Information
Commissioner ruled that the Council must publish the result. It shows that 77%
had objections to the Joint Area Action Plan with 76 % specifically opposing the
runway extension. (SAEN)         Click here to view full story…

Controversy Over Stobart’s Southend Airport Truck and Rail Freight Plans

23rd October 2009        

 Stobart’s plans for the redevelopment of Southend airport have come under fresh
criticism as new questions were raised by local residents on whether the company’s
proposed plans are actually their true intention. Some residents feel Stobart
has little interest in using Southend for flight operations, freight or otherwise,
but as a new hub for its multi modal business. The airport is cheap land on which
to build a road and rail depot.
Click here to view full story…


Southend Airport expansion plans submitted

17th October 2009        

 Southend has submitted an application to Southend Council to extend the runway
from 1605 metres to 1905, which will allow larger planes to carry business and
leisure passengers to destinations all over Europe. If approved, the runway could
be operational in 2011, in time for the Olympics. As well as the runway, the application
is for a new terminal and diversion of Eastwoodbury Lane. It is expected to cost
in the region of £30-40 million. (UK Airport News)         Click here to view full story…


Southend Airport agree flights cap

10.10.09         New controls on flights at Southend Airport have been agreed by
its owner and local councils. A new runway and transport links are being developed
at the airport by the Eddie Stobart transport group. Proposed night flights have
been cut from 900 to 120 a month after an agreement was reached between the company
and Southend and Rochford councils. Maximum yearly flights are to be capped at
53,000 and the definition of night-time for flights will be from 23:00 to 06:30.
Talks are reported to be under way with a number of airlines to launch new passenger
services when the airport becomes fully operational.   (UK Airport News)
Link to story


Southend Airport agreement is a scandal say Lib Dems

 9th October 2009     

  THE new deal between Southend Airport and local councils on the number of night
flights and other operational details fails to answer many concerns, according
to an opposition councillor. New measures have been agreed with the ruling Conservatives on Southend and Rochford District councils, without consulting others. The deal contains some restrictions on the airport’s future operations, but they are not
stringent, and do not satisfy opponents.         Click here to view full story…


Conservative MP calls for council to back Southend Airport

 25th July 2009        

James Duddridge MP [Conservative – for Rochford & Southend East] told the
Commons that councillors should back the expansion of Southend Airport rather
than worrying about political point-scoring. He was speaking in the adjournment
debate. He opposed the 3rd runway at Heathrow and also the proposals for an airport
in the Thames Estuary, known as Heathrow-on-Sea or Boris Island, but he fully
supports the expansion of Southend.(UK Airport News)         Click here to view full story…


Southend Airport expansion plan could be in jeopardy

 26th May 2009   Expansion plans for Southend Airport could be in jeopardy, as council bosses
are set to abandon its support for the scheme. There have been thousands of objections
to the Joint Area Action Plan consultation, which proposes a major expansion of
the airport, together with the runway extension across Eastwoodbury Lane. There
have been packed public meetings, and the councils now realise that it could be
political suicide to support expansion. (Echo)     Click here to view full story…



Southend – Councils decide to support airport expansion scheme

17th February 2009         A combined report by Rochford and Southend councils says: &lquot;The preferred option
is to support the airport’s growth through an extension of the runway, together
with the development of a new railway station, terminal and aircraft handling
facilities. It is not considered desirable for the airport to handle significant
volumes of freight due to its location and the pressure on the local road network.
[Claims of jobs created should be treated with caution].     (Southend Echo)Click here to view full story…





Southend Airport Joint Area Action Plan – launch of consultation on preferred

 16th February 2009         Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council are in the process of
preparing a planning framework to guide development at London Southend Airport
and the neighbouring employment areas. The councils have published their ‘Preferred
Option’ for the development of the area which is now ready for a further consultation
period, which closes on 27th March. The final version of the JAAP will be submitted
to the Government during summer 2009. (Southend)           Click here to view full story…




Southend Airport based charter company goes bust

05.12.08      Southend airport  based aircraft charter company Flightline Limited
has called in administrators and ceased trading. The failure of the company has
resulted in the loss of more than 200 jobs.     The company specialised in providing
whole aircraft charters. Administrators from KPMG were appointed yesterday and
the company’s Air Operating Certificate was suspended by the CAA.    
From UK Airport News


Stobart to buy Southend Airport for £21m

2.12.2008     “Stobart announces that it has conditionally agreed to acquire London
Southend Airport (‘Southend Airport’) from Regional Airports Limited (‘RAL’) for
a maximum consideration of £21.0 million, of which £5.0 million will be due on
achievement of certain aspects of the airport’s development (the ‘Acquisition’).
Stobart also announces an associated conditional placing of £11.5 million. The
initial consideration of £16.0 million will be satisfied from the placing proceeds
and a vendor loan note of £6.0 million. The Acquisition is conditional upon Admission
of the Consideration shares.  “


09.11.08           Transport firm Stobart has announced plans to buy Southend Airport for £21m, much less than the £55m suggested last month. The airport, which is less than an hour from London by train, is
to operate passenger flights across the UK and Europe alongside Stobart’s air
freight operations.   Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler said the group had
conditionally agreed to buy Southend Airport from Regional Airports Limited (RAL)
for a maximum £21m. The group will implement plans for the site, including construction
of a new railway station, ‘as soon as possible’.          
From UK Airport News


Bigger airport means ‘more noise for Leigh’

23rd September 2008         More than 200 people attended a meeting organised by the local branch of Friends
of the Earth to draw up battle lines against the expansion, and to form a new
committee to fight it. The larger airport, which could mean the demolition of
some houses, is expected to cater for two million passengers a year, which equates
to 40 flights a day. While there are restrictions on night passenger flights,
there are none on night freight flights. (Echo)

Click here to view full story…




News stories from the SAEN website, media page:


Southend airport – Firms foresee return to airport’s golden age   (27.6.2008 – Echo)
London City airport launches bid for Essex neighbour – Southend     (16.3.2008   Independent)
UK Airport News website:
News stories about the airport can be found at UK Airport News :
UK Airport News stories:
26.05.09 Councils won’t back Southend Airport expansion
20.02.09 Councils back Southend Airport expansion plans
15.12.08 Night flight curbs for Southend Airport
05.12.08 Southend Airport based charter company goes bust02.12.08

Stobart to buy Southend Airport for £21m 

09.11.08 Eddie Stobart ‘to buy Southend Airport’
05.10.08 London City Airport not interested in Southend; could bid for Gatwick27.08.08

Southend Airport sale claims quashed

26.08.08 Southend Airport tours
23.08.08 Southend Airport boss: Gatwick sale would not hit us
01.07.08 Firms forsee return to Southend Airport’s golden age
29.06.08 Southend Airport boss looks for boost
28.06.08 Southend Airport firms frustrated by lack of land
01.06.08 Southend airport bidding ‘set to go three rounds’
29.05.08 Southend Airport 1.9m target
01.05.08 London City Airport confirm Southend bid
15.04.08 Shoreham Airport flights grounded by owner’s financial crisis12.04.08

Seven shortlisted in Southend Airport sale16.03.08

London City launches bid for Southend

01.02.08 Southend Airport station given go-ahead 28.01.08

Southend Airport for sale

27.01.08 Southend Airport passengers up 61% in 2007
10.12.07 Southend Airport launches new community newsletter
03.12.07 Southend Airport needs £36m for development
25.11.07 Flywatch plan scheduled services from Southend Airport
29.06.07 New 130-bedroom hotel for Southend Airport
09.06.07 Southend Airport railway station by ‘2009’
09.04.07 Southend Airport publishes station development plan

Other stories:


Financial Times story –   “ Southend airport up for sale”     28.1.2008  


Ambitious Southend airport seeks cash injection   (28.1.2008     (Flightmapping)


All articles in reverse date order

European ‘Day Of Action’

A European ‘Day of Action’ on aviation happened across Europe on 10 June 2006.

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New night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted

The government has announced the new ‘Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted’. These will apply from winter 2006/07 to summer 2012.

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Report reveals the “Two Faces” of BAA

The "Two Faces" of BAA.


A new report from AirportWatch is a devastating indictment of BAA, revealing the harsh reality behind the responsible and green image that BAA tries to cultivate.


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Campaigning at Regional Airports, York May 2006

AirportWatch hosted a conference for campaign groups and individuals in York on Saturday 13th May 2006. The event  was designed to support new and existing campaigners at the UK's smaller regional airports.

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2006: Decision Time for Aviation in White Paper Review

2006: The Year of the Aviation Review

Rarely has a Government White Paper received such constant criticism as the Aviation White Paper. AirportWatch looks at the evidence that has mounted up which proves it is time for the Government to change course when it reviews its White Paper at the end of this year.

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Leap in aviation emissions

Figures released by Defra show that while the UK's overall carbon emission have more or less stabilised, emissions from international aviation are spiralling out of control - they grew by a staggering 12% in 2004.

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Air freight – some unbelievably heavy things that have been flown

Some truly bizarre things have been air freighted. A ferry that once operated on Loch Ness in Scotland was shipped to Kazakhstan by air (August 2007) so the president could tour a copper mine in style. A 42 tonne tram was transport ted from Pisa to Los Angeles by Volga-Dnepr Airlines (August 2005)

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Dedham Vale – Campaigners celebrate flightpath victory

  (20.12.2005     East Anglian Daily Times)   CAMPAIGNERS fighting to protect the peace and tranquillity of Constable Country by changing controversial aircraft flight patterns celebrated after winning their battle against aviation bosses. A legal action brought by the residents of Dedham Vale against the CA over the nuisance caused by over-flying aircraft was settled in […]

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Nights Flights Rally

A large rally against night flights took place at Westminster Central Hall on 24th Oct. It was timed to coincide with the government's deliberations on the night flights regime at the three London airports.

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EU Consults on Aviation and Climate Change

On Friday 11 March 2004, the European Commission launched a consultation on "Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation." See article for more information and link to Commission web page.

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