Stobart airport plans approved

Michael Hunt

Stobart has been given approval on proposals for London Southend Airport, which it hopes to link with services to Carlisle Airport.

Stobart's application for a 300-metre extension to the existing airport runway was approved by Southend Council's development control committee in January, but was subject to review by Government.

Following a thorough review, John Denham, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has now given final go-ahead for the development.

The London Southend Airport is a key link for haulage giant's bid to run passenger flights from Carlisle to Southend which could see people travelling from Cumbria to the centre of London in under 90 minutes.

Stobart, which owns Carlisle Airport, plans a new head office and distribution centre plus alongside a new terminal. The £25m scheme was approved in December 2008.

Andrew TinklerSpeaking about today's news on London Southend Airport, Andrew Tinkler, chief executive officer at Stobart, said: "This project has been subject to very intense scrutiny, and has the support of the adjoining district councils, a host of local and national bodies, and now the Minister. It has been thoroughly examined and the resounding opinion is that the London Southend Airport development is a positive thing for Essex. I am delighted that we can now make these plans a reality."

"The go-ahead for this project represents another core step in our multi-modal offering with air complementing our road, rail and sea businesses. The development of this strategic asset also gives us a southern logistics hub and platform for the Stobart Group. The airport has fantastic potential being well positioned for passenger travel to London and the 2012 Olympics, via our new railway station. This is reinforced by the fact that Southend is part of the Thames Gateway blueprint plan which together with the new DP World Gateway Port opening in 2010, will become one of the UK's fastest growing development regions."

Stobart hopes eventually to run flights from Carlisle to Southend and on to southern Europe.

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talk about juggernauts and take-off. geddit?! go stobart.

By funk