Essex

Southend Airport: New £5m link road opened

A new £5m link road to Southend Airport in Essex has opened as part of the airport's expansion plans.

The new route between Eastwoodbury Lane and Nestuda Way replaces an existing route to allow for the 300m (984ft) extension of the airport runway.

The longer runway will allow larger passenger aircraft to be used.

The Stobart Group, which owns the airport, aims to have two million passengers a year passing through its terminal by 2020.

From April 2012, EasyJet will run routes to a number of European destinations from the south Essex airport.

A new control tower and train station have also opened this year.

As well as the road, a new children's play area has been built and a wildflower meadow planted.

The airport's managing director, Alastair Welch, said the road was "one of the final pieces of the jigsaw" in its plans to become a fully functional regional airport by 2012.

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