Southend Airport could provide the answer to London’s air travel conundrum, it was claimed, as the Essex hub was put up for sale by owner Regional Airports.
The airport has been in decline for decades, thanks to repeated rumours of a rival airport in the Thames Estuary area, but its owners have suggested that new government policies could see it enlarged to serve London travel needs.
Recent plans for expansion at Heathrow and London City Airport have been hotly disputed, raising doubts over whether air travel in the capital will be able to expand to meet consumer demands – but Southend’s sale could change matters.
According to Reuters, Regional Airports claimed:"[Southend is] well placed to take advantage of the increasingly severe capacity constraints at other London airports. Projected growth in passenger numbers across the UK has increased exponentially and, directly as a result of the Thames Gateway initiative and 2012 Olympic Games, especially so at London Southend."
The Thames Gateway programme plans to build significant numbers of houses, facilities and transport links on both banks of the Thames from Tower Bridge eastwards.