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Airport in a bid for control of airspace
SOUTHEND Airport bosses hope to take control of airspace within 2.5 miles in an effort to cut delays and improve safety and security.
An application is being made to the Civil Aviation Authority forcing pilots of any planes over Southend Airport to seek permission from its air traffic control tower.
At the moment, aircraft are permitted to fly within 2.5 miles of the airport without having to contact the control centre.
This can lead to delays for scheduled flights arriving and departing.
The airport has not controlled the airspace since 1992 because, up until now, so few flights used Southend Airport.
A temporary zone was installed during the Olympics, which proved successful.
Alastair Welch , managing director, said having control of airspace over the airport would help with safety and security.
He said: “Controlled airspace safeguards aircraft when they are approaching and departing the airport.
“Temporary controlled airspace around the airport was operated very successfully during the London 2012 Games, and we are now seeking to have this reinstated as a permanent feature.”
It is also hoped added control over flights will improve the carbon footprint of the airport because delays can mean fumes pumping out of plane engines as they wait. Mr Welch added: “Improving our efficiency by getting aircraft in and out of the airport without last-minute alterations and delays will minimise the impact of the airport’s operations on the local community and is much better for the environment.”
The application is expected to be handed in to the authority in 2014 and will include a public consultation set to take place in late 2013.