PLANS for a 132 bedroom hotel at Southend Airport have been submitted to Southend Council.

Bosses behind the airport recently announced a long term goal of securing 20 million passengers per year.

And now plans for a large-scale hotel, on the existing airport car parking site on land to the west of the Holiday Inn have been submitted as the first in three stages which could eventually see 400 more rooms for passengers and create dozens of jobs.

The Holiday Inn at the airport is regularly full.

The application states the hotel will “contribute to the ongoing development of the airport and the economic growth of Southend”, with the initial aim of having the hotel up and running by the summer of 2021.

Recently the airport released plans for an upgraded runway, as well as significantly improved departure and arrival terminals,

It is hoped the hotel will help with this.

Glyn Jones, CEO at Stobart Aviation said: “The Holiday Inn at the airport attracts over 90 per cent occupancy year round, and is used by people and businesses across the region.

“We believe a second hotel, if approved, would offer even more value. The application is very much in line with our plans to continue investing in Southend Airport in order to maintain a first class customer experience. It will also generate around 35 new jobs for the area.”

If the first hotel is a success, then more could follow as the airport grows.

Computer generated images show the initial hotel but also shows space for a second hotel, also with 132 rooms, as well as a third hotel building at the rear, providing 136 rooms.

Proposals, recently revealed in a Stobart “future growth” presentation, centre on upgrading the runway to take both Boeing 737-800 aircraft and Airbus 321 aircraft and major upgrades to both the departure and arrival terminals.

As things stand, the current departures terminal is at 90 per cent capacity, with the hope a new terminal would have a capacity of seven million, which would be matched in the new arrivals terminal.

It was also revealed that current car parking is at 80 per cent capacity, with plans pitched for a new multi-decked car park, with space for between 2,500 and 3,000 cars, as well as additional parking with the same number of spaces at the growing site.