THIS picture shows the latest progress on the new Southend Airport railway station, due to open in the summer.

Work is well under way on the £12million station, on the airport’s eastern boundary. One of the steel frames for the new building has been put up, complete with stairwell, while another frame with stairs is due to be built on the other side shortly.

At the end of the month, a bridge will be lifted into place over the line, connecting the two frames.

The station, which is being paid for by airport owners the Stobart Group, is being built between Rochford and Prittlewell on the Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria line.

Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “Construction work is progressing at pace, helped by the improvement in the weather.

“The station frames will be completed in late March in time for a big lift, scheduled for March 27 and 28, when the bridge will be installed. It’s great to see a station which has been talked about for 50 years finally taking shape.”

Mr Welch said work was also underway on the new control tower. Construction of the £3million tower begins later this month and it is expected to open later in the year.

Mr Welch added work on the airport hotel is subject to the runway extension going ahead, which would affect the plans.

The decision on the runway has been called in by Secretary of State John Denham, who will decide if the plans need to go to a public inquiry.

Mr Welch added there would be progress on a new passenger terminal for the airport after consent for the runway is granted. The hotel then could open in early 2011, and the terminal later that year.