Four on the shortlist for London Southend Airport
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by Lin Freestone
At the beginning of 2008, Regional Airports placed London Southend Airport on the market. Funding in the region of Â£35m is required to support the development of the airport to create Londonâ€™s sixth airport after Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted and Luton.
Plans for a new terminal to be constructed in time for the London Olympics in 2012 are in place, together with plans for the 2009 opening of a railway station at the airport to provide fast and frequent trains into Londonâ€™s Liverpool Street Station and Stratford.
The value of Southend Airport has been placed at between Â£40m and Â£50m. The advisory firm, Opus, appointed by Regional Airports to advise on the negotiations, has selected four candidates for the shortlist for the third round of bidding.
The four shortlisted bidders are expected to include a private equity company, a UK airport owner, and a company specialising in infrastructure.
An extension of the runway to 1,800 metres would expand the airportâ€™s operation of scheduled passenger flights to European holiday destinations. Flybe already operates a summer schedule of flights to Jersey from Southend.
The expansion of Southend Airport is being promoted as part of the Thames Gateway Regeneration project.
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