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London Southend Airport
1. The Past
Looking back at the airport
For those interested in the past of the airport, the Internet is a mine of (hopefully) accurate and detailed information
For interesting Pilot reviews (comments) going back to 2003, to get a feel of what flying visitors experience when they come to the airport, try http://ukga.com/airfield/southend/reviews
(That is a site established in 2003, UKGA is a free online service for the UK's general aviation community)
For memories of the airport (and Rochford) try http://www.francisfrith.com/southend-airport/ and click on the memories button.
A Quick Overview of the more Distant Past
The site listed by the War Office as a potential landing ground
First flight made, followed by regular Royal Flying Corps activity through the period of the war through to 1919 – said to be the largest flying ground in Essex.
Taken over by the Royal Navy Flying Service in May for about a year and then became Royal Flying Corps Rochford in June 1916
Closed as a flying station and reverted to farmland
Site purchased by Southend Council
Officially opened s a municipal airport in September
Again requisitioned by the Air Ministry and all civil flying ceased, becoming RAF Rochford
Decommissioned as a military base.
Civil flights started, Southend Council again took over as Southend Municipal Airport, running scheduled services in the late 1940’s to the Channel Islands and Ostend.
Two new runways were laid
British Air Ferries were formed
Record number of passengers using the airport – 692,686 – said to be London’s third busiest airport
Southend Council sold it to Regional Airports Ltd and it was rebranded at London Southend Airport
Government gave go ahead for the Airport to build a new passenger terminal and railway station.
Sold in 2008 to Stobart Group for £21M
Planning approval granted to extend the runway
Completions of Recent Developments
New Air Traffic Control Tower or east side
New ‘Fly Through’ Terminal
The runway stretches away into the new distance......
..... where St. Lawrence & All Saints Church survives and looks out on the planes coming to land or turn....
.... and the new, well-landscaped road around the end of the runway also provides a location for plane spotters on a fine day.....
....and with memories of yesteryear the old entrance still welcomes locals to the spacious Cafe Stobart, home of plane spotters past and present....
...while a rather forlorn aging control tower sadly gazes on a new age and stirs memories of past glories