The long-awaited revival of Southend Airport is set to take a big step forward.

Detailed plans lodged with Rochford Council will allow for the airport to handle up to half a million passengers a year.

The plans involve extending the terminal by nearly 1,500 square metres and providing a modern check-in area and extra security facilities.

Waiting areas for a projected 500,000 people a year are included a huge increase on the airport's current capacity.

The airport's owners have also applied to reconfigure existing internal roads and car parks to provide 500 parking spaces as well as drop-off, collection, taxi, coach and bus facilities.

While some residents are unhappy at the airport's expansion, many will welcome the greater range of flights and the expected positive impact on the regional economy.

Mary Spence, chief executive of Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, said: "We think it will not only create jobs directly but also secure the economic future of Southend.

"If people are looking to invest in the area, then the sort of things they want are a university and an airport.

"Southend used to be a really busy airport in the days of Sir Freddie Laker, who flew budget flights to Spain. Flybe have been having discussions with the airport.

"They already fly people to Jersey in the summer and they are hoping to have passenger flights to Europe by next summer."

Rochford Parish Council chairman Maureen Vince has objected to plans for a car park and for station linking the airport to the Liverpool Street line.

However, she gave the terminal plans a cautious welcome.

She said: "If the expansion is handled carefully and with consideration to people living nearby, then we support it.

"It will create work within the airport and benefit the wider community."

Southend Airport already has outline planning consent for the new terminal and railway station.

No one from the airport was available for comment.