Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

2000-Present A New Dawn

Sunday 28th & Monday 29th May 2000: Fiftieth seafront airshow.

2001: Through out the year Shorts Belfast XR367/G-BFYU/G-52-15 saw a slow lingering death as it was slowly scrapped, her last flight had taken place on 26/2/92 with the certificate of airworthiness running out on 10/4/93.

2001: Second Ilyushin IL 76 of the Algerian Air Force flew in.

Sunday 27th & Monday 28th May 2001: Sixteenth seafront airshow.

Tuesday 11th September 2001: After the terror attacks in New York and the resulting closure of London’s aerospace Southend takes 100 flights over the next five days.

Thursday 18th October 2001: Drugs Bust.
Boeing 707 9L-LDU arrived at the airport in the early hours of the morning, upon landing the pilot reported technical problems and taxied to the end of runway 24, where a number of large suitcases were dropped from the aircraft, these were quickly collected by the police and customs officers that were laying in wait after a tip off, inside the cases was a consignment of Cocaine with an estimated street value of £100million the pilot and passengers were arrested.


Sunday 4th November 2001: Namyc YS11 9U-BHP of Tygun & Fournier RF4 destroyed by fire caused by firework

Friday 14th December 2001: British World Airlines cease all operation.

2002: The Rochford Hundred Flying Group disbanded.

Thursday 18th April 2002: Gulfstream AA5 G-PAWS accident.
The aircraft was parked on a grass area near the flying school at Southend airport. The engine would not start using the aircraft battery and it was decided to attempt to 'hand swing' the propeller and then taxi the aircraft to the maintenance area. A flying instructor was the pilot in command and, in accordance with the school's procedures, another instructor was allocated the task of swinging the propeller. The engine controls, parking brake and magnetos were correctly set and the propeller swung in an attempt to start the engine. The engine did not start therefore a second attempt was made. As soon as the propeller moved the engine started. The first down going blade of the propeller struck the head of the instructor and the second blade struck his arm. The aircraft commander immediately closed the throttle and selected the magnetos to OFF. He then vacated the aircraft and assisted the instructor, who had suffered a cut head and a badly fractured left arm, until an ambulance arrived. The flying school's procedure for hand swinging a propeller previously required this to be completed by a flying instructor.  Since this incident the practice of hand swinging a propeller has been prohibited.

Sunday 2nd & Monday 3rd June 2002: Seventeenth seafront airshow.

Saturday June 2002: Avro Lancaster PA474 cracks undercarriage leg upon lading after a 100ft beat up of the airport with Spitfire & Hurricane.

Wednesday 25th September 2002: Dutch owned Lockheed L-749A Constellation makes low pass on its way to Lelystad after a stop over at Duxford.

2003: Heavy Lift go in to receivership, an attempt to sell the company as a going concern fail and the name Heavy Lift disappears, ATC Lasham buy up the hanger and set up shop at Southend many of the Heavy Lift employees are re-hired, the Belfast's freighters G-BEPS stored at Southend as a spares source for G-HLFT are sold, FT is flown to Prestwick then on to Australia where it remains flying.

February 2003: The airport operators announce plans to install a new ILS, RESA (Runway End Safety Area), and the moving of the St Laurence church, included in the plan is a trust fund to pay for the up-keep of the church, the restoration of the church, a new car park, extended graveyard and a new church hall. After the story of the airports plan breaks an action group was formed to fight the plans, the Church & Airport Action Group. Throughout the year the anti-airport lobby made out & out lies about the true intentions of the airport claiming that the church was going to be demolished, the graveyard closed to the graveyard being demolished torn up and concreted over!

Sunday 25th & Monday 26th May 2003: Eighteenth seafront airshow


September 2003: Southend Council throw-out the airports planning application, the airport launch an appeal to the Sectary of State.

Tuesday 23rd September 2003: Cessna 172N G-BGBR Flipped over in high winds.

Saturday 11th October 2003: Boeing 707-373C 9L-LDU departed to Malta on its first flight since being impounded on Thursday 18th October 2001, the aircraft was badly damaged by fire on Friday 23rd December 2005 at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

November 2003: Airport submit new plans to Southend Council, this time to remove the earth bank at the end of runway 24, remove the fence and replace it with a fragmentable one, rise Eastwoodberry road so that it is in line with the runway, replace the runway lights, replace the ILS and use a filed at the end of the runway foe its new RESA and to install railway crossing style gate at the wigwag lights to stop people passing them at danger.

November 2003: Airport receive a Southend Council Committee approval to the new works, however a Councillor puts a block on the proposals and demands that the plans go before full council for approval. More protests begin with the Anti-airport lobby claiming the airport are secretly going to move the church as part of the proposal, the airport state the church is categorically not part of the application. The protesters continue their attack on the airport, with claims that the gates will cause traffic backlogs, drastically affect the church services, would delay weddings and funerals, protesters also claim that the gates would be kept closed by the airport! In effect permanently closing the road. The airport say that the gates would only ever be used when a large airliners was taking off or landing and dot-matrix signs on the approach roads would warn drivers that the gates were closing or about to close and direct them on to alternate routes.

December 2003: The airport wins its planning application.

Wednesday 23rd May 2004: Consoludated PY5A Catalina C-FNJF “Rasta Cat” arrives at the airport for the airshow the following week.

Saturday 29th May 2004:  USAF MH53 70-1630 fly’s in for airshow making the types first visit.

Saturday 29th May 2004: Westland Lynx HAS.Mk.3 of the Black Cats makes an emergency landing during its practice for the airshow with a rotor head problem.

Sunday 30th & Monday 31st May 2004: Nineteenth Seafront Airshow.

Sunday 30th May 2004: Hawker Hunter G-PSST struck jet pipe on landing.
The accident flight had originated at Kemble Airfield and the pilot had carried out a flying display in the Southend area before landing on Runway 24 at Southend Airport. The aircraft was fitted with 150 gallon drop tanks on the inboard underwing stations and had approximately 1700 to 2200 Ibs of fuel on board, giving an approach speed of 135 kt which was maintained throughout the final approach. In a Hunter aircraft the approach angle during the latter stages of a visual approach is usually less than 3° but in this instance the pilot elected to fly a steeper approach (approximately 3.5°) due to obstructions below the approach path to the runway. The weather conditions were fine, with a surface wind from approximately 240° at 8 to 12 kt.  After touchdown the braking parachute was streamed as usual, but the pilot thought that the tail may have contacted the runway at the same time as the main undercarriage. An external inspection confirmed this, revealing damage to the tailcone and jetpipe, which had been punctured when the tailskid detached from the tailcone.  The pilot stated that he had landed with the tailplane interconnect switched 'ON' which made the aircraft more sensitive in pitch during the flare manoeuvre. This was the normal position of the switch during an air display and whilst manoeuvring at high speeds. Although he had landed in this configuration before and without difficulty, he had intended to place the tailplane interconnect switch 'OFF' and, temporarily forgetting the status of the system, had not made due allowance in his landing technique. The pilot also stated that he had deliberately aimed for a smooth touchdown in order to reduce wear on the tyres. The Aircrew Manual for the type states: 'holding off may result in an excessive nose-up attitude (particularly in the case of a flapless landing or when carrying outboard stores) with the likelihood of scraping a tailcone and/or dropping a wing'.

Sunday 30th May 2004: Supermarine Spitfire during its display the aircraft began to trail smoke behind it the aircraft made an emergency landing back at the airport investigation found that the oil had all been lost from the aircraft and its engine seized.

Monday 7th June 2004:  An26 SP-FDS arrives for weather division it departs later the same day to Valencia.

Friday 19th October 2004:  BAC111-492GM arrives for internal re-fit.

Monday 27th December 2004: Resident Yak52 G-YAMS makes emergency landing at Canewdon after engine failure, the pilot was safe the aircraft however was written off.

Sunday 20th February 2005:  HS748 VH-AMQ arrives after retiring from service with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Monday 14th March 2005:  HS748 VH-AYS arrives after retiring from service with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Wednesday 23rd March 2005:  BAC111-492GM departs.

Saturday 7th May 2005:  1st scheduled flight of the year, Flybe Dash 8 G-JEDU from Jersey.

Saturday 28th May 2005: The first visit of the type by Eurofighter Typhoon, two of the RAF latest fighter aircraft landed in preparation for the weekend airshow a number of go-a-rounds were made before landing.

Sunday 29th May 2005: First visit of Type by the Merlin helicopter, first visit by six L39’s of the Breiting jet Formation team.

Sunday 29th & Monday 30th May 2005: Twentieth Seafront Airshow

June 2005: Old UPS sheds demolished.

Saturday 18th June 2005:  Microlight Rally.

Sunday 3rd July 2005: RAF SAR Sea King ZH544 makes emergency landing after hydraulic fault ZH540 flew in later the same day with the spares to fix the aircraft.

Saturday 16th July 2005:  3D-AJG of Arrow Air landed for re-painting.

Thursday 25th August 2005: AN72 ES-NOI of Atlantic Airlines visits.

Thursday 25th August 2005: Sea King RS-04 of the Belgian AF performs pilot training.

Saturday 29th October 2005: BAC1-11 YR-MIA of MIA Airlines arrives.

Saturday 1st October 2005:  MH53 69-5784 of the USAF visits.

Sunday 27th November 2005: An26 LY-APN of Aviavila visits.

2006: Southend Airport breaks all records with an increase in passenger figures of 491%.
The vast increase was mainly thanks to Ford Air (the Ford Motor Company’s own airline) relocating from Stansted Airport to Southend.


Sunday 28th & Monday 29th May 2006: Twenty-first Seafront Airshow.

Wednesday 12th July 2006: Fokker F-27 3Q-QSC  Scrapped

Wednesday 12th July 2006: BAC1-11 G-OBHF/G-OBWD (British Heart Foundation) Scrapped.

Wednesday 12th July 2006: Shorts SD360 - CS-TMY Scrapped.

Wednesday 28th June 2006: The Qantas Founders Outback Museum buy Boeing 707-138B HZ-123 and it is re-registered VH-XBA.
The aircraft was the first passenger jet airliner to serve with Qantas and the first jet transport registered in Australia it had to adopt a new registration as its original VH-EBA had been re-issued to a Jetstar Airbus A330-200.

Saturday 2nd December 2006: Boeing 707-138B VH-XBA makes its first post restoration test flight becoming the worlds oldest flying privately operated Boeing 707 in the world.

Wednesday 6th December 2006: Boeing 707-138B VH-XBA makes second test flight.

Friday 8th December 2006: Boeing 707-138B VH-XBA departs Southend on route to Australia. 
The aircraft called at Dublin, Tenerife, Bermuda, Orlando, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Nadi, Sydney.  The aircraft flew into to The Qantas Founders Outback Museum at Longreach on Sunday 10th June 2007.

unday 27th & Monday 28th May 2007: Twenty-second Seafront Airshow.

January 2008: Airport lease put up for sale by Regional Airports Ltd.

Sunday 25th & Monday 26th May 2008: Twenty-third Southend Airshow.

Friday 30th & Saturday 31st May 2008: Last passenger carrying flights by Douglas DC3 Dakotas from Southend.

Sunday 8th June 2008:  Boeing E3 Sentry circles Southend waiting for its slot at the Biggin Hill airshow before it departs it makes a low level pass of the airport.


Saturday 30th August 2008:  Airport Open Day.

Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th September 2008: De Havilland Dragon Rapide flights from Southend.

October 2008: Shorts SC5 Belfast G-BEPS Scrapped.

Tuesday 2nd December 2008: Airport lease sold to The Stobart Group.

Sunday 24th & Monday 25th May 2009: 24th Southend Airshow (re-branded Southend Festival of the Air)

Tuesday 13th October 2009: The Stobart Group submit a planning application to extend the runway by 984ft (300meters).
In addition to the extending of the runway, six cottages to be demolished, a section of church wall at St Laurence & All Saints Church to be dismantled and replaced by a fence the section of dismantled wall would be re-used at another section of the church boundary, new Instrument Landing System, and the re-direction of Eastwoodbury Lane.

January 2010: Construction starts on the airport railway station.

Tuesday 18th January 2010: John Denham the Sectary of State for Communities and Local Government calls in the expansion proposals under a section 106 Agreement.
A section 106 Agreement means that the elected local council back a proposal and approve it, Sectary of State for Communities and Local Government has the final say he can either back the council’s approval or dismiss it and call a full public enquiry.

Wednesday 20th January 2010: Southend Borough Council vote 7-—3 to back the proposed airport expansion.
The vote saw the Conservative members of the planning committee back the airport along with the Labour members, however the Liberal Democrats voted against the application. 

March 2010: Construction begins on replacement control tower.

Thursday 4th March 2010: North American Rockwell OV10 Bronco G-BZGK makes types first visit to the airport.

Friday 19th March 2010: John Denham, The Sectary of State for Communities and Local Government announces that he will not call the airport expansion plans in for a full public enquiry and that he approves the planning permission awarded by Southend Borough Council.

Tuesday 23rd March 2010: Fokker EIII replica G-FOKR visits airport.

Sunday 30th & Monday 31st May 2010: 25th Southend Airshow.

Sunday 15th August 2010: RAF Red Arrows make Flypast of the airport for the Vulcan Restoration Trust  open day, they are followed a short time later by the Battle of Britian Memorial Flight's Lancaster.

Tuesday 31st August 2010: Steve Noujaim takes off on a record attempt to fly from London-Cape Town-London for a single engine aircraft.

Friday 3rd September 2010: Steve Noujaim arrives back at Southend breaking the record for a single engine airplane London-Cape Town-London, he is greeted by a dozen Rans aircraft and two Spitfires.

Saturday 25th September 2010: Southend wins the ERA (European Regions Airline Association) Airport Achievement Award 2010 recognises the airport's work to secure planning permission for an extension to the runway which will increase passenger numbers to 2million.

Thursday 9th September 2010: Airport hotel gains planning permission.

Wednesday 27th October 2010: Construction starts on new terminal building

Friday 12th November 2010: Aer Arann announce plans to start operating out of Southend with flights starting on 28th March 2011, with  flights operating  to Waterford and Galway in the Irish Republic.

Thursday 4th November 2010: Link Road given green light.  A major part of the runway extension is the diversion of Eastwoodbery Lane to form a new link road to join up with Nestuda Way.

Thursday red February 2010: High Court judge dismisses protesters request for a judicial review in to Southend Borough Councils handling of the planning process into the extention of the runway, the protester launch an appeal against the ruling.

Wednesday 9th February 2011: Boeing 757 G-STRX of Astraeus re-pianted at Southend as "Ed Force One" for the Iron Maiden tour.

Friday 4th March 2011: Re-surfacing of runway starts, the airport is closed to all traffic from 8:00pm Friday 4th March - 8:00am Monday 7th March for the first stage to be completed, the same closures happen for the following two weeks to get the work finished.

Sunday 27th March 2011: First international passenger flights for a decade commence with Aer Arann flying to Waterford & Galway, the first flight arriving was from Waterford in the shape of ATR42 EI-EHH landing at 10:00am.

16ht June 2011: Easyjet announce that they are moving in to Southend with 70 flights a week.

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