Coronavirus updates for Essex on Gateway 97.8

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Southend Airport provides COVID-19 operational update

26th March 2020
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

London Southend Airport is today updating customers and stakeholders regarding its operational plans during this challenging time.

The airport’s airline partners have updated their flight plans:

  • easyJet suspended flying from 24th March until mid-May at the earliest;
  • Ryanair suspended flying from 25th March until 1st May at the earliest;
  • From the 30th March onwards Wizz Air will reduce its service to three weekly flights to Bucharest;
  • Loganair will maintain flights to Aberdeen and Derry three times a week;
  • Fly One will return to a twice weekly service from May.

As a result of these schedule changes, London Southend Airport will amend its opening times as of next week to 16.30 – 21.30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

While the airport will be providing a significantly reduced passenger service, its logistics operation will continue to operate as normal. The logistics operation is maintaining it clear role in supporting both the local economy and the wider economy as a whole.

As a result of the flights associated with this operation, we are able at present to:

  • Safeguard jobs associated with the operation at a time when many people across the UK are worried about employment;
  • Ensure important goods are able to safely come in and out of the country to offer support at this critical time;
  • Play a key role in maintaining UK exports and continuing to contribute to the UK economy.

The airport is happy to reassure local stakeholders that strict protocols are being followed at all times. Our overriding concern is the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce and the local community. All aircraft are thoroughly cleaned after each rotation. The crew remains with the aircraft upon landing at their destination and has no direct contact with other people.

As a result of the revised staffing levels needed to manage the much-reduced operations, the airport cannot respond as quickly as it would wish to all correspondence. 

We have therefore implemented a new, approved noise complaints procedure pursuant to the S106 Agreements as follows:

  • London Southend Airport will not be in a position to respond in detail to complainants by letter until further notice;
  • Electronic responses will be sent in response to complaints explaining that due to the COVID19 pandemic the complaint will be logged but a full response will be sent only if the flight was non-compliant (within 28 days);
  • Individuals will continue to receive a response when an aircraft is found to have operated outside of the existing agreements;
  • The airport’s limited resources will be applied to logging and processing the noise complaints until we are in a position to launch the on-line WebTrak service. 

These short-term changes to the noise complaints service have been approved by our Airport Consultative Committee and the SBC S106 Officer. These changes are effective immediately and individuals should consult the noise page on the airport’s website for further information. The airport is also working hard to ensure that it captures any outstanding complaints to date. In the longer-term London Southend Airport will be implementing an on-line Web Track complaints service, as used by other airports such as Gatwick and Newcastle.

Glyn Jones, CEO of London Southend Airport said:

“I want to take this opportunity to express my immense gratitude to the incredible team here at London Southend Airport who have responded fantastically to the unprecedented challenges faced by the aviation industry and by the world as a whole.

“I am pleased that the airport will contribute to the local community and its economy by securing jobs and contributing to the economy.”