Under Sir John Armitt’s leadership, the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission is engaging all interested parties, including on last Friday’s visit to Southend airport, which I understand my hon. Friend attended. The commission is developing an ambitious vision for south Essex, north Kent and east London, and will publish its final report this spring.
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. London Southend airport, as we like to refer to it, will have a major impact on the commission. What role does he see London Southend airport playing in boosting growth and productivity across the whole of south Essex?
I, too, like to refer to it as London Southend airport, which I think is its correct name. It is a real success story and has great potential for growth—it has an ambitious 2 million passenger target this year. Stobart Group has already invested £162 million in a new terminal. That puts London Southend airport at the heart of the Thames estuary commission’s growth plans.