London Southend Airport
|London Southend Airport
|IATA: SEN – ICAO: EGMC|
|Operator||London Southend Airport Company Ltd|
|Serves||Southend, Essex and east London areas|
|Elevation AMSL||55 ft / 17 m|
|Passenger change 11-12||1,353.9%|
|Movements change 11–12||8.8%|
|Sources: UK AIP at NATS
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority
During the 1960s, Southend was the third-busiest airport in the United Kingdom. It remained London's third-busiest airport in terms of passengers handled until the end of the 1970s, when the role of "London's third airport" passed to Stansted. Following its purchase by Stobart Group in 2008, there has been an ongoing programme of development, and EasyJet started operating services by opening a base at Southend in April 2012. A regular rail service runs from Southend Airport Station to London Liverpool Street Station in central London. The airport operators hope to increase passenger numbers to two million per year by 2020.
The airport features a single runway on a south-west / north-east axis and is located between Rochford and Southend town centres, 1.5 NM (2.8 km; 1.7 mi) north of Southend, in the county of Essex. It is 36 miles (58 km) to the east of central London. A frequent rail service runs from the Southend Airport railway station to London Liverpool Street with a journey time of approximately 53 minutes, and 44 minutes to Stratford station.
The terminal houses 2 Cafes, check-in desks, a bar, duty free shopping and departure lounge, a newsagent, ATMs (dispensing euros and sterling), a bureau de change, Europcar and Hertz car hire and taxi hire desks. The terminal is approximately 200 m (660 ft) from the rail station and nearest car-park.
The old terminal is disused in terms of scheduled passenger flights, it now houses a Business Aircraft Centre with lounges and conference rooms, plus flight briefing facilities for pilots, a security point, café, passport photo booth and a small tourist information point. There is a car park 100 m (330 ft) in front of this building.
Bus services operated by Arriva Southend are available from the public road fronting the airport entrance to Southend (7, 8 and 9), Rochford (7 and 8), Ashingdon (7), Hawkwell (8), Hockley (7 and 8), Eastwood (9) and Rayleigh (7, 8 and 9). Routes 7, 8 and 9 are normally operated by modern, low-floor easy-access buses. First Group operate from the terminal to Chelmsford and Stansted Airport (X30)
The airfield was established by the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. It was the largest flying ground in Essex, with the greatest number of units. In May 1915 the RNAS took over, until 4 June 1916, when it became RFC Rochford. It was designated as night fighter station and many sorties were flown against Zeppelin airship raiders, including LZ38 on 31 May 1915. In 1920, the station closed and reverted to farmland for a while.
In 1939, the Air Ministry requisitioned the airfield and it was known as RAF Rochford during World War II. It became a satellite base. During World War II, it became a base for fighter squadrons comprising Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes as well as Bristol Blenheims. Many of the 50 pillboxes that were designed to protect the airport from paratroop landings still survive, as does the underground defence control room, which is near to Southend Flying Club. A further 20 or so pillboxes also remain in the surrounding countryside. In 1946, the airfield was decommissioned from military use and civil aviation returned in 1947, as did the Southend Municipal Airport name.
Since 1986, Southend Airport has been home to Avro Vulcan XL426 (one of three remaining). It is owned by the Vulcan Restoration Trust, a registered charity, that keeps the systems and engines of XL426 serviceable, allowing it to be occasionally taxied – it is not airworthy.
Canewdon, 2 miles north-east of the airport, was the location of one of the World War II Chain Home radar stations. The 360-foot (110 m) high transmitter tower at Canewdon was relocated to the Marconi works at Great Baddow in the 1950s.
Civil aviation 
The airport was officially opened as a municipal airport in on 18 September 1935 by the Under-Secretary of State for Air, Sir Philip Sassoon, who arrived in his de Havilland Leopard Moth. Southend Airport is often remembered for the car ferry flights operated by the piston-engined Bristol Freighter and the Aviation Traders Carvair. There used to be an aviation museum on the western boundary of the airport.
Freddie Laker's Air Charter Limited operated flights from Southend from 1949. Other Southend-headquartered companies Laker owned included Aviation Traders and Aviation Traders (Engineering). Sold in 1958, they became part of Airwork in January 1959.
BKS[nb 1] commenced airline operations from Southend Airport in October 1951 as BKS Aero Charter[nb 2] with a Douglas DC-3. Further DC-3s were bought in 1952. Flying charters initially, in 1953, it was granted a licence to operate scheduled services between Newcastle, the Isle of Man and Jersey.
East Anglian Flying Services moved to Southend on 5 January 1947, their first scheduled service being a Southend—Rochester feeder service. In 1948, East Anglian operated its first inclusive tour (IT) charter from Southend to Ostend, and by winter 1948 had acquired seven additional aircraft (five de Havilland Dragon Rapides, a Miles Aerovan and an Auster Airspeed Courier). After a year of operating the Southend—Ostend charter run, a scheduled service licence was obtained for the route, as well as for Southend—Jersey. Further scheduled services launched from Southend to Paris and Rotterdam as well as additional stops on some Jersey services at Rochester, Shoreham and Guernsey. During the mid to late 1950s, three de Havilland Doves were introduced, and two Bristol 170s had joined the fleet by late 1957. The name Channel Airways officially replaced East Anglian Flying Services on 29 October 1962, although the Channel Airways name had already been in use for several years and painted on aircraft fuselages. By then, Channel Airways had become one of the UK's five leading independent airlines of the 1960s. The administrative headquarters and main engineering base continued at Southend until the airline ceased all operations at the end of February 1972.
British World Airlines (BWA) was based at Southend, previously they operated as British Air Ferries (BAF), and before that, as British United Air Ferries (BUAF) – formed from the merger of Channel Air Bridge (based at Southend, and famous for operating the Carvair) and Silver City Airways. BAF/BWA owned many Vickers Viscount turboprop airliners, fitted out for passenger and cargo operations. These aircraft, dating from the mid/late 1950s to the early 1960s, were originally owned and operated by British European Airways (BEA), one of the two main predecessors of the present-day British Airways. BWA retired and sold these aircraft in the late 1990s. From the 1970s to the early 1990s, the airline also owned and operated several Handley Page Herald turboprops. In the 1990s, BWA operated many different aircraft types including BAC One-Elevens, British Aerospace 146s, British Aerospace ATPs, Boeing 737-300s and a Boeing 757. The airline ceased operations late in 2001, affected by the downturn caused by the 11 September attacks and bringing to an end an airline with over 50 years association with the airport.
Dan-Air began its life at Southend with a Douglas DC-3, registration G-AMSU, (originally owned by Meredith Air Transport, a small Southend-based ad hoc charter operator formed in 1952), fulfilling a six-month contract to operate a series of charter flights between Southend and West Berlin's Tempelhof Airport. The airline's first commercial operation – an ad hoc charter flight from Southend via Manchester to Shannon – occurred in June 1953. In 1955 Dan-Air moved its base to Blackbushe.
Holland Aero Lines operated a Rotterdam to Southend service with a GAF Nomad aircraft between 4 February 1985 and December 1986. It flew up to three times daily on weekdays, with one flight on Saturday.
Regionair was a small commuter airline based at Southend in the late 1980s and early 1990s that provided services to Rotterdam and Paris using Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante and Jetstream 31 aircraft.
Annual passenger traffic first peaked in 1967, at 692,000. Southend continued to handle more traffic than Stansted until well into the 1970s, making it London's de facto third airport. It took 45 years to surpass the previous annual passenger traffic record: in the year ending February 2013, the airport handled 721,661 passengers, an increase of almost 30,000 compared with the previous peak.
Regional Airports Ltd 
In 1993, after the airport had been making losses for many years, Southend Borough Council sold the airport to Regional Airports Ltd (RAL), operator of Biggin Hill Airport. London Southend Airport Co Ltd was formed to operate the airport which was re-branded as "London Southend Airport" with the term "Municipal" dropping from the title. The previous losses were turned into small profits for majority of tenure by RAL.
In 2001, a debate centred on the possible relocation of Grade 1 listed St Laurence and All Saints Church further away from the side of the main runway. The proposal was dropped after the planning application was rejected by Southend Council in 2003, and a compromise scheme was implemented resulting in slightly shorter licensed runway lengths. This change allowed passenger flights to be restarted, however the resulting runway length curtails the potential range and payloads for passenger flights, and the airport has not been greatly utilised by airlines in recent years.
Flightline was an airline formed in 1989 headquartered at Southend, where they also had a maintenance/engineering base for their own and third party aircraft. They mainly operated British Aerospace 146 aircraft on ad-hoc charters, and an Avro RJ100 regional jet with which they operated a regular service between Southend and Cologne from 7 June 2006 to 1 December 2008 on behalf of Ford Motor Company as a corporate shuttle. Flightline went into administration on 3 December 2008.
In January 2008, Regional Airports Ltd put the airport up for sale.
Purchase by Stobart Group 
Following council consultation with the local population, a planning application extending the usable runway length by 300 m (984 ft) to 1,799 m (5,902 ft), and providing upgraded navigational and lighting aids, was submitted to Southend Borough Council 13 October 2009. Planning permission was granted by Southend Borough Council 20 January 2010. Initially subject to an Article 14 Direction, after due consideration by the Government this was withdrawn 19 March 2010, meaning it would not be subject to a Public Inquiry. A Section 106 agreement is required to be entered into between the airport and local councils.
On 1 June 2010, Stobart Group took a £100 million loan from M & G Investments, partly in order to fund the airport construction. In July 2010, an application for a judicial review of the planning application was filed, which was dismissed on 2 February 2011.
A replacement air traffic control tower became operational on 21 March 2011, and daily Aer Arann services to Galway and Waterford in Ireland started on 27 March 2011, marking the return of year round scheduled passenger services at the airport. The Galway service ended from winter season 2011, and the Waterford service ended 6 January 2013.
EasyJet signed a ten-year contract with Stobart Group in June 2011, and in April 2012 commenced around 70 flights per week from Southend, using three Airbus A319 aircraft based at the airport. Flights to eight European destinations — Alicante, Amsterdam, Belfast, Barcelona, Faro, Ibiza, Majorca and Malaga now operate. In September 2011, a ninth route from Southend was announced, to Jersey, which started in May 2012.
A new on-site rail station opened 18 July 2011, (the official opening by Minister for Transport Theresa Villiers MP was on 21 September 2011), and a new road opened 1 September 2011, replacing Eastwoodbury Lane that lay in the path required for the runway extension.
A new terminal was built during 2011 and opened 28 February 2012 (the official opening was by The Right Honourable Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for Transport on 5 March 2012). This has allowed the old terminal to be redeveloped for use by business flights, and Stobart Air has invested half a million pounds turning it into an executive business lounge, and operates the lounge in conjunction with American private jet company Landmark Aviation.
The extended runway opened 8 March 2012, with Category I ILS on both ends of the runway, completing a major upgrade programme that allowed the reintroduction of intra-European passenger flights.
Easyjet announced further routes on 26 March 2012, a seasonal winter route to Geneva which commenced 14 December 2012, and to Venice commencing 8 February 2013. Also in March 2012, a three times daily service to Dublin was announced, and commenced 10 May 2012 under the brand of Aer Lingus Regional, offering onward connections from Dublin to New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando.
A new four-star Holiday Inn Hotel located adjacent to the airport entrance opened on 1 October 2012; it is owned by the Stobart Group. It boasts the only rooftop restaurant in Essex and is also open to the public.
Current developments 
Construction of an extension to the new terminal commenced in November 2012 by Kier Group, in order to facilitate the planned growth in passengers. The extension will create a larger departure lounge, an increase in the number of check-in desks and baggage drop off points, as well as more security screening channels.
On 26 October 2012, EasyJet announced it is to base a 4th Airbus 319 at Southend with two new routes to Berlin and Kraków starting on 17 June 2013, also announcing 6 December 2012 that seasonal flights to Newquay Airport would start 20 June 2013.
It has also been announced that Thomas Cook will sell Easyjet seats. For the first time this will see Thomas Cook selling holidays from the airport.
In November 2012, TUI Travel announced they would operate package holidays from Southend to Palma de Mallorca, flying on Saturdays. The Spanish low cost airline Volotea was confirmed as the operator. Thomson has since announced Ibiza from Southend starting in summer 2014 operated by Jetairfly, plus the continuation and increased frequency of the Palma route.
Airlines and destinations 
|Aer Lingus Regional
operated by Aer Arann
|EasyJet||Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast-International, Berlin-Schönefeld (begins 17 June 2013), Edinburgh, Faro, Jersey, Kraków (begins 17 June 2013), Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Venice-Marco Polo
Seasonal: Geneva, Ibiza, Newquay (begins 20 June 2013)
|Thomson Airways||Seasonal: Ibiza (begins 23 May 2014), Palma de Mallorca (begins 25 May 2013)|
Busiest routes 
|Rank||Airport||Airline||Passengers handled||% Change 2011 / 12|
|1||Netherlands - Amsterdam||easyJet||105,349||-|
|2||United Kingdom - Belfast-International||easyJet||92,502||-|
|3||Portugal - Faro||easyJet||71,676||-|
|4||Spain - Barcelona||easyJet||66,565||-|
|5||Spain - Alicante||easyJet||64,090||-|
|6||Spain - Malaga||easyJet||59,175||-|
|7||Ireland - Dublin||Aer Lingus Regional||35,524||-|
|8||Jersey - Jersey||easyJet||35,169||1128|
|9||Ireland - Waterford||Aer Lingus Regional||31,907||25|
|10||Spain - Palma de Mallorca||easyJet||27,718||-|
|Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority |
Southend Airport movements comprise mainly scheduled passenger, charter and business flights, cargo flights, pilot training (in both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters), and recreational flying. The airport is run by London Southend Airport Co Ltd, which employs over 100 people.
Southend Airport has a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Ordinary Licence (Number P893) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (London Southend Airport Company Limited).
The airport provides RFF Cat 6 between 06:00 – 00:30, RFF Cat 1 between 00:30 – 06:00.
Southend Airport has an excellent weather record and is used by airlines as a diversion alternative when adverse weather or incidents close other London airports.
Aircraft ground handling at the airport is provided by the airport-owned Southend Handling, who also assist companies, groups or individuals in chartering aircraft to or from the airport.
Annual seafront airshows off Southend and Clacton fronts result in extra aircraft being based at the airport for the duration of the displays.
Companies located at and around the airport employ over 1,000 skilled workers, providing services such as engineering and maintenance work on airliners, including re-spraying, refurbishment, upgrades to avionics, manufacture of aircraft seats and the installation of new or hush-kitted engines.
Heavy maintenance services and hangarage for aircraft up to Boeing 757 and Airbus A321 size are available. ATC Lasham is the major engineering company at the airport, and can trace its roots to Aviation Traders Engineering Limited (ATEL) – founded by the late Sir Freddie Laker – and Heavylift Engineering. Other companies include ACL Aviation Support (ACLAS), Aero Partners, Aircare Ltd (a subsidiary of Avionicare), Air Livery (aircraft re-finishing), Avionicare, IAVNA (airport visual aids), Inflite Engineering (previously World Aviation Support and BAF Engineering), IPECO/Benson-Lund, Isenburg Engineering and JRB Aviation.
- On 11 February 1944, Boeing B-17 42-31694 of the USAAF (511th BS) crash-landed and burned out at Southend, after receiving battle damage on a raid on Frankfurt.
- On 11 May 1944, B17G 42-107147 of the USAAF (360BS) made an emergency wheels-up landing with heavy flak damage after a mission to Saarbrücken.
- On 12 July 1957, a Lockheed Constellation of TWA made an emergency landing whilst routeing from Frankfurt to Heathrow, with one engine on fire.
- On 28 July 1959, an East Anglian Flying Services Vickers 614 Viking 1 (registration: G-AHPH) was written off in a landing accident. On approach the aircraft's right-hand main gear indicator showed that the gear was unsafe. An emergency landing was made on the grass parallel to the runway. The right gear collapsed and the aircraft swung to the right, damaging it beyond repair. None of the 39 occupants were injured.
- On 9 October 1960, a Handley Page Hermes of Falcon Airways (registration: G-ALDC) overran the runway on landing, ending up across the Shenfield to Southend railway line. The aircraft was written off but all 76 people on board survived.
- On 3 May 1967, a Vickers Viscount of Channel Airways (registration: G-AVJZ) was written off when a propeller was feathered on take-off. Two people on the ground were killed.
- On 4 May 1968, a Vickers Viscount of Channel Airways (registration: G-APPU) overran the runway having landed at too high a speed. The aircraft was written off.
- On 3 June 1971, a Douglas DC-3 of Moormanair (registration: PH-MOA) returned for an emergency landing with one engine partially failed, shortly after departure to the Netherlands carrying supporters of Ajax Football Club. It overran on landing, colliding with an earth bank at the end of the runway and slightly injuring 2 of the 32 passengers on board.
- On 11 January 1988, a Vickers Viscount of British Air Ferries (registration: G-APIM) was damaged beyond economic repair when it was in a ground collision with a Fairflight Short 330 (registration: G-BHWT). The BAF Viscount was subsequently repaired and donated to Brooklands Museum for preservation.
Film appearances 
A British United Air Ferries Carvair is seen transporting Auric Goldfinger and his car in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger from Southend Airport to Geneva. In the scene, filmed in 1963, Sean Connery as Bond drives his Aston Martin DB5 into Southend Airport (having tracked Goldfinger's Rolls Royce to the airport), and takes it to Switzerland in pursuit of Goldfinger via the Carvair service. The airport also appears in the 2001 film Mike Bassett: England Manager. It is shown when the team emerge to joyous crowds upon their arrival from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
See also 
- Expansion of London Southend Airport
- List of airports in the United Kingdom
- British military history
- British military history of World War II
- Southend – EGMC
- "CAA: Annual UK Airport Statistics". UK Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- EasyJet Helps Make Southend London's Sixth Major Airport London.net, published 2011-06-16. Retrieved 17 June 2011
- EasyJet to offer flights from Southend Financial Times, published 2011-06-16. Retrieved 17 June 2011
- Airport sold to Eddie Stobart Echo, published 2008-12-03. Retrieved 17 June 2011
- London Southend Airport's new control tower operational BBC, published 2011-04-04. Retrieved 17 June 2011
- Minister gives Southend airport the go-ahead BBC, published 2010-03-19. Retrieved 17 June 2011
- Stobart Group strikes deal with easyJet at Southend Airport rail.co, published 2011-06-17. Retrieved 17 June 2011
- Stephen Hackwell (3 April 2012). "Dawn of a new era as first easyJet flight soars from Southend Airport". Southend Standard. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- View of the runway https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Southend&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=de&sa=N&tab=wl
- Ceremony at Southend by Flightglobal.com, published/last updated: 28 January 2008, 13.36 (GMT)
- Going for Olympic Gold – London's Southend Airport: The Booming 1960s, Airliner World, Key Publishing, Stamford, UK, September 2010, p. 45
- Southend Airport up for sale by Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent at ft.com, published/last updated: 28 January 2008, 13.36 (GMT)
- News – Latest Updates: Southend's Record Year, Airports of the World, Key Publishing, Stamford, UK, May/June 2013, Iss. 47, p. 6
- "Committee meeting minutes" (PDF). Historic Built Environment Advisory Committee meeting minutes. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
- [url=http://www.southendairport.com/PDFs/London%20Southend%20Airport%20Cons%20Mins%2011%20March%202009.pdf | Paragraph 7b]
- Tait, Jim (5 December 2008). "Eastern takes over early as Flightline goes bust". The Shetland Times. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "Expansion gets go-ahead". Southend Echo. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "Southend Council taken to court over runway extension planning permission". airportwatch. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- "Legal_challenge_to_Southend_Airport_plan_dismissed". Southend Echo. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
- Stobart agrees to invest in Aer Arann, Business, IRISHTIMES.com, 12 October 2010
- "First Aer Arann scheduled flights from Ireland arrive at Southend Airport". Echo News. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "London Southend Airport Agrees 10 Year Contract with easyJet" (Press release). Stobart Group. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "easyJet to Launch Services from London Southend Airport" (Press release). Stobart Group. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- "New London Southend Airport Railway Station Officially Opens". London Southend Airport. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "New London Southend Airport Passenger Terminal Officially Opened By Secretary of State For Transport". London Southend Airport. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- name=London Southend Airport"New Ireland & USA Gateway opens with Aer Lingus Regional operated by Aer Arann Route Launch". London Southend Airport. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
- "new-london-southend-airport-holiday-inn-opens". London Southend Airport. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences
- "Plane details 2 – planes 42-29847 to 42-31879". Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "Sweet Melody 42-107147 Crash".
- "30 Escape burning plane at London". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- ASN Aircraft accident description Vickers 614 Viking 1 G-AHPH — Southend Municipal Airport (SEN)
- "G-ALDC Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- "PH-MOA Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Douglas DC-3 PH-MOA, Report on the accident at Southend Airport, 3 June 1971". Accidents Investigation Branch. 22 November 1972. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
- Airliner World – Going for Olympic Gold: London's Southend Airport, pp. 42–48. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. September 2010. ISSN 1465-6337. (Airliner World online)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Southend Airport|
- London Southend Airport Official website
- Read a detailed historical record about RAF Rochford/London Southend Airport
- RAF Rochford – History