Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Airport sold to transport company

Southend Airport
Transport company Eddie Stobart wins control of Southend Airport

A transport firm has bought Southend Airport in Essex in a deal worth 21m and is promising to press ahead with an initial phase of development.

The Eddie Stobart Group confirmed plans for a control tower, upgraded passenger terminal and hotel will go ahead.

Chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: "We have found a southern base to serve customers in the UK and Europe."

Airport managing director Alastair Welch will take on a new role heading the airport development.

Talks are under way with a number of airlines to investigate new passenger services, a company statement said.

Passengers and freight

Mr Tinkler said growth would take place in passenger numbers, routes and freight services - especially for urgent consignments.

He said: "It is good news for the East and for London."

Mr Welch said: "Our focus will be on delivering the vision set out for the airport to offer regular passenger services to a range of destinations as soon as we can.

"Stobart's expertise in major infrastructure projects will bring experience and resources to the table to drive the development of the airport."

Its owner, Regional Airports Limited (RAL), announced it had put the airport up for sale earlier this year saying it was looking for someone who could help expand the site.

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