SOUTHEND Airport’s new £10million terminal building opened this afternoon.

The extension offers more space for passengers, more shops and is set to bring 300 new jobs.

It is was up and running just before 5pm. It is the latest stage of development at the airport, in which £120million has been invested since the Stobart Group took over in 2008.

The departure lounge is four times the size of the previous facility, with the extension also tripling retail floor space.

It has seating for 300 and changes have also been made to maintain passenger flow.

The number of check-in desks is increased from six to ten, under the move, with space for four more, and the gates have doubled, from three to six.

Operations director David Lister said: “Travellers will be able to make use of a more relaxed, open and spacious departure lounge and also shop, or have a drink and something to eat in our new bar.”