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London Southend rated most accessible airport

(13/7/18)

London Southend Airport has today (13 July 2018) been rated the most accessible airport in London and the South East by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The Airport Accessibility Report awarded sixteen airports with a “Very Good” rating, with London Southend the only one representing the capital’s airports.

The report is the third annual review of accessibility of UK airports carried out by the CAA and covers the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. The results were based against three criteria; the amount of time that people wait to receive assistance; the level of satisfaction with the different aspects of the service; and the quality of the consultation with disability groups and charities.

Commenting on the report findings Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Aviation, owners of London Southend Airport said: “We are very proud to have received a ‘Very Good’ rating, reflecting the hard work and pride that the London Southend Airport team put in to making this such a great facility. We want to make sure people enjoy travelling through our airport and it is an efficient and easily accessible experience, as we offer quick access to London and a wide range of European travel destinations, with our Dublin route also providing ongoing connectivity to the USA.”

Paul Smith, Consumers and Markets Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “We are pleased that surveys show that satisfaction levels remain high and the vast majority of passengers’ journeys go smoothly. The improved performance of many airports means disabled passengers should have even more confidence to travel from UK airports.”

Baroness Sugg, UK Aviation Minister, added: “It’s essential that passengers with reduced mobility or hidden disabilities get the service they deserve every time they fly. The CAA has stepped up its work in this area and plays an important role in showing where improvement still needs to be made. I welcome the progress made by airports to improve accessibility and will continue to work with all of the aviation industry to make flying easier for disabled passengers.”

The CAA report said that in 2017 over 3 million requests were made for assistance at UK airports and requests for assistance are increasing at a rate of around double that of general passenger growth. The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) most recent UK Aviation consumer survey shows that, of recent travellers who received mobility assistance, 42% stated that they had requested the assistance for the first time (up from 34% in the previous survey).

Further, 83% of assistance users were satisfied overall with the assistance that they have received, with between 54% saying that they were very satisfied. Good accessibility at airports does not just help the people who use the assistance, but also the family members and friends that they are travelling with. It is a positive story for the aviation industry that disabled people feel increasingly confident to use the assistance provided at UK airports.



London Southend Airport partnership with Ryanair to deliver $300m investment

(13/6/18)

London Southend Airport owner, Stobart Group, today (Weds 13 June 2018) announced an exciting new partnership with leading low-cost airline Ryanair.

This five-year agreement, extendable to ten, will see Ryanair open a new base at London Southend Airport with three Ryanair planes operating out of the airport from Summer 2019, providing 13 routes to eight European countries, including six new destinations.

Ryanair is making a $300 million investment in the new routes and will operate more than 55 weekly flights, creating 750 “on-site” jobs per year.

This agreement will enable the airport to welcome at least one million additional passengers in the first year and in excess of five million in the first five years.

The destinations will include Alicante, Barcelona Reus, Bilbao, Brest, Corfu, Cluj, Dublin, Faro, Kosice, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Palma and Venice.

David O’Brien, Chief Commercial Officer of Ryanair, said:We are pleased to add London Southend Airport to our UK base network.  Ryanair guests travelling to and from London and the Essex area can now enjoy low fares on a choice of 13 routes through London Southend’s exceptionally passenger friendly terminal. Southend’s train station will deliver direct services from the terminal to London Liverpool St and also the new Crossrail service (opening in 2019), making the airport even more accessible from all parts of London.”

Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ryanair, Europe’s favourite airline, and its customers to London Southend Airport. Passengers are increasingly turning to London Southend Airport amid the capacity crisis found elsewhere in the capital, where holidaymakers and business travellers face frustration from overcrowded airports, impacting on customer service. In contrast, London Southend Airport offers an excellent, efficient passenger experience, and we are delighted that this is becoming increasingly recognised, demonstrated by the tremendous momentum within our Aviation division. We have a clear and focused strategy to grow our airport in order to welcome five million passengers a year by 2022. This long-term partnership agreement with a leading airline such as Ryanair will help us achieve that aim. Since joining Stobart Group over 12 months ago I have been working closely alongside the team at London Southend Airport to secure a major airline that will allow us to deliver on our growth targets. This agreement demonstrates that we now have the right team, skill set and strategy in place to deliver on our stated ambitions.”


About London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport is an established airport serving business and leisure passengers flying across Europe. The airport has a dedicated railway station, with up to eight train services an hour offering direct links to London Liverpool Street (51 minutes). Once here, passengers can typically go from plane to train in 15 minutes, with the airport just 100 paces from the train station. We offer an average 5-minute check in with passengers spending three minutes going through security on average. More at www.southendairport.com 

About the Ryanair route destinations

13 new routes: Alicante (5 weekly), Barcelona Reus (2 weekly), Bilbao (4 weekly), Brest (2 weekly), Corfu (2 weekly), Cluj (3 weekly), Dublin (12 weekly), Faro (5 weekly), Kosice (3 weekly), Malaga (5 weekly), Milan Bergamo (4 weekly), Palma (4 weekly) & Venice (4 weekly).

About Stobart Group

Stobart Group is one of the UK’s leading infrastructure and support service businesses operating in the renewable energy, aviation and rail and civil engineering sectors, and has investments in a national property and logistics portfolio.


First UK airport trial of a drone surveillance system takes place at London Southend (11/5/18)

A successful trial of a ground-breaking drone surveillance system has taken place at London Southend Airport this week (w/c 7 May 2018).

IPS IS combining its skills with the METIS Aerospace SKYPERION technology to develop a suitable solution for integration into airports. This system not only spots drones much sooner than previously possible and allows them to be tracked, but it also identifies exactly where the operator is located (offering the possibility of them being apprehended), something which has previously been almost impossible.

Rogue drone operations are becoming an increasing issue for UK airports with upwards of 3 to 4 sightings of ‘rogue’ drones per week in the London airspace area alone. Drones are readily available from High Street shops and can be flown within a few minutes of purchasing, and although they have many lawful uses they can also be easily adapted to carry a range of payloads, from cameras to explosives.

Due to the size and colour of most drones they are very difficult to spot, however if one is sighted near the critical part of an airport operation (such as the final approach to the runway) then the only option is to completely stop operations. This most notably happened at Gatwick in July 2017, which led to delays for thousands of passengers and considerable costs to the airport.

The purpose of the week-long trial was to demonstrate and test the ability of the IPS-METIS SKYPERION Solution to monitor, detect, track and record the activity of RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems - better known as drones, in the vicinity of London Southend Airport. A series of ‘tame’ drones were deployed near the airport in order to test how the equipment worked in an ‘as live’ situation. The equipment involves two airfield sensors which offer 360-degree coverage up to 4kms - in all weathers, 24 hours a day – feeding back real-time information to a control ‘station’ located with the Air Traffic Control team.