There seems a general belief views against the expansion of Southend Airport are in the minority, and those who haven’t expressed a view are, by default, in favour.

I suspect the truth is the vast majority of people feel powerless and take the view that it’s going to happen, whatever they say or do.

Any airport expansion would be a disaster for those living in its vicinity and that does not just mean those living nearby.

Why do people think there have been such protests, sustained for such a time, against expansion at Heathrow and Stansted?

People in those areas know exactly what an airport means for their environment and their quality of life.

Take just one example – noise. Much has been said about today’s quieter aeroplanes.

Well, they are not that quiet when taking off or landing and the noise corridor will be huge.

I cannot see many jobs will be created. There would seem to be few even at the airport itself, particularly if budget airlines are attracted to it. They are not called low cost for nothing.

Nor do I see much happening outside the airport.

People arriving at Southend, unless they live there already, are not going to be spending any time in the area. It is just like people arriving through the Channel Tunnel do not spend any time in Folkestone.

Remember, there will be a new rail station to help people get away from the area as easily as possible. What few benefits are generated will be swallowed up many times over by the cost of dealing with the impact of the expansion.

There is until Friday an opportunity to register views with Rochford Council via the consultation process.

I urge everyone to do so. I would prefer to know the collective view of local people rather than have it assumed, often the wrong way around, by those making the decisions.

Paul Westgate
Shipwrights Drive

...How many aircraft movements will result from the magic number of two million passengers a year flying from Southend?

Southampton airport is cited as the model for Southend as it already carries this volume. At Southampton, from 7.40am to 8.30am there are an average of ten arrivals and ten departures, a total of 20 planes in the first 40 minutes of operation. That is one every two minutes on an average weekday while most people are still at home preparing for the day ahead.

This drops slightly through the day and goes back up in the evening. If that doesn’t keep you awake at night there are always the freight planes!.

C R Bishop
Broomfield Avenue

...Almost all of the views on Southend Airport expansion appear to be nothing more than speculative scaremongering based upon no experience or knowledge of this area’s past.

I have lived in Leigh since 1955, mostly under one of the flightpaths used by aircraft when taking off towards the south west and turning right, thus avoiding the built-up area of Leigh.

I recall the airport expansion of the late Fifties and early Sixties and the noise made by Vikings, DC4s, Carvairs and the like as they clawed their way into the sky, transporting to Europe and beyond 600,000- plus passengers per year.

These old planes were a far cry from today’s quieter and cleaner aircraft. I cannot recall children in my Leigh school being distracted by approaching aircraft.

Why should today’s children be any different?

Consider also alarmist remarks about two million passengers each year. On a 364-day a year operation with aircraft carrying up to 150 passengers at a time this equates to less than two flights arriving and two flights departing each hour between 7am and 11pm per day. Hardly Heathrow or Stansted.

John Cole
Leighwood Avenue