Southend Airport is revamping its car parking as it prepares to welcome 2.5 million passengers a year by the end of 2019 - up from 1.4million passengers last year.

In order to get ready for this planned growth, construction work is underway to adapt the short-stay car park to avoid congestion and ensure a smooth, safe and hassle-free passenger experience.

Pricing in this car park will now begin from £3 for up to 10 minutes, making it the cheapest short-stay car park option of all the London airports.

Other short-stay tariffs will remain the same, as will the 15 minutes free drop off/pick up option in the long-stay car park, which is a short walk from the terminal front door.

The new short-stay car park layout will be introduced by late June.

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, said: “Investing in our car parks to keep them free of congestion is all part of our wider strategy for delivering an airport that is ready for sustainable growth and the smart choice for travellers.

“We also need to ensure we continue to deliver a great passenger experience so we remain the easiest to use and most cost effective of all the London airports.

“We are very proud to be one of the only London airports to provide our passengers with a free drop off/pick up option which is just a few minutes’ walk from the terminal.”

As part of this new layout additional entrance and exit points are being added to the short-stay car park in order to ensure vehicles can enter and exit and smoothly as possible.

The announcement comes weeks after the airport submitted plans for a new 260-space car park on a neighbouring site near the airport.

The one-acre site will provide valet parking, with passengers invited to drive to the airport’s main terminal before their cars will be parked for them. It will also provide staff parking if approved.

Planning permission was previously granted for a car park on the site in 2016, but this has expired.

Airport bosses hope a new car park will also continue to benefit its growing number of passengers.

Southend Council’s planning committee are expected to make a decision on the application in the coming months.