READING last Friday’s Echo coverage of the likely future of Southend Airport, I could not help wondering what passed between Councillor Gilbert, Labour leader of the council, and the airport bosses beyond a few pleasantries and platitudes.

All parties except the Friends of the Earth wish for a general recovery of the air transport business and that Southend should get its fair share.

Labour councillor Kevin Robinson makes some good, if obvious, points about the desirability of increased numbers of passenger flights.

Quite rightly, the Unite union actively campaigns for its members in easyJet and it certainly ought to be possible for the airline to return to Southend.

More widely, local government should get behind unions and business leaders in urging the normalisation of international travel arrangements with the abandonment of lockdowns, quarantines and the rest of it.

It should perhaps be remembered that for some decades last century Southend Airport dealt mainly with freight, and was well known for it.

The only passenger services were summer flights to the Channel Islands. Whatever the current volume of cargo working, I have no doubt that there would be the capacity for extra passenger business if the demand existed.


Councillor for West Shoebury


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