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Pilot reviews of Southend Airport

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Pilot reviews of Southend Airport

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2 Aug 18 - Alex Berry - London

Flew in to Southend from Denham on 1st Aug18 and ATC were most accommodating, they slotted us in behind an airbus with a couple of orbits in the circuit. Landed 23R with immediate exit via bravo to the north apron where a marshal was waiting. Donned the high-vis jackets and walked across the apron (eventually using the designated walkways!).

 

Headed towards the tower and the 'C' customs sign on the wall, easily visible from the north apron parking spot. When getting closer to the arrival point, there is a thick red line on the ground in front of you. If you do not pass the customs sign then you will not pass the red line. And if you do not pass the red line, then you will not need to go through International Arrivals i.e. luggage scanning and body search. There is a white door (unsigned) before the red line that you can go through, which makes it easier.

 

In any case, staff were great, landing fees were £28+vat so £33.60 incl. which for this kind of airfield I personally thought were reasonable, but since I did a local area afterwards as well, £67.20 for landing fees was relatively steep but acceptable given Thurrock was the next best alternative.

 

Didn't check the GA pilot facilities and used the phone to book out each time. Also didn't check out the restaurant in the hotel so can't comment on cafe/food options.

 

In all, a smashing experience to land at Southend, it's not overly complicated although I could certainly do with practicing my controlled airspace departure clearance read back proficiency; which I will. Hope this helps, if you're thinking of flying into EGMC sometime soon.

  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 3
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25 Jun 14 - F Lee - Durham Tees Valley

We visited last week with Chelmsford and Hanningfield Water being easily identified VRPs. There was also a briefing pack available online which was helpful.

The landing fees were high in comparison to other airfields but I think the facilities warrant it in this case.

Passenger and I were asked to go through the metal detector and X-Ray for metal objects but it wasn't much of a bother, though seems OTT for GA since we arrived with everything we were taking aboard.

I would not say that Southend are anti-GA. Indeed, ATC were very pleasant (and amusing). On departure, they provided a traffic service and coordinated handover with Wattisham.

  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
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7 Apr 12 - Tom Bartley - rochester

Visited Southend in April 2012 and I am sad to say the airport operations seems to be getting less GA friendly. All private pilots are now REQUIRED to clear a metal detector when returning to their aircraft. If, like me, you carry a multi-tool in your flight bag, keep it in your aircraft otherwise it will be confiscated as a flight risk.

However, ATC still friendly and efficient as usual and the cafe still offers good food. I really hope Southend realises they need to support GA otherwise they may start to lose business to others who have been down this path before and since returned to being more friendly to GA (eg Norwich).

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 2
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 1
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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29 Dec 11 - Matthew Kitson - Exeter
I flew into Southend from North Weald on 27/12/11 in a Slingsby Firefly. I received a good service from ATC and was parked in front of the old tower right next to the executive lounge where I paid the landing and parking fee of £42 for 24 hours. I thought this to be slightly high but then I was parked in the most convenient location.
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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7 Dec 09 - Patrick de Nonneville - White Waltham
Flew there on December 5th. Very nice runway, ATC super helpful, the terminal is great. Sure the price is high (£55) but it did include an ILS and my passengers were suitably impressed by the Executive suite :-) We went for lunch at The Boatyard in Leigh-on-Sea, £15 taxi each way
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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15 Oct 08 - Curtis Archer - Petts Wood
Interesting airport with a good mix of aircraft. They have a vulcan and a shorts belfast here and it's good fun for us light weights to be able to rub shoulders with scheduled airliners from time to time. The ATC is first class here but when it is busy it can be a bit snappy so make sure your RT is up to scratch before visiting. The landing fee is unjustifyably expensive which is the only reason why this will not be a regular visit for me.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 1
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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3 Jun 07 - David Jackson - High Wycombe
Visited Southend last year in my PA28. Very straighforward, easy to spot from miles away, landing fee a bit steep.
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 2
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 3
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30 May 07 - Martin Barnes - bristol UK
Always a good place to operate into, must be the scruffiest airport this side of africa BUT the staff always make it happen with the utmost effiency and top line customer service even at 3am in the morning !!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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12 Feb 06 - Martin Neep - Cambridge
Visited Southend for the 1st time yesterday in a PA28. ATC were very efficient and friendly, and the chap in Flight Operations was extremely helpful! All in all a very nice airport, would definitely recommend a visit, even if it was just for the experience!
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13 Nov 05 - Adrian Ball - Felsted
One of the most friendly helpful ATC operations I've encountered. The lady running the desk in flight ops was very willing to help, despite having had no lunch. The only downside was that the cafe was shut (hence why the staff were all starving).
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28 Sep 05 - Reeves Watson - Colchester
Visited Southend yesterday, weather a bit murky however managed to steer clear of any nastiness. Approach controller was helpful and clear and made the approach a pleasure, switching over to the tower gave the same level of professionalism and service. It was a quiet day by all accounts however there was a little circuit traffic and several aircraft receiving FIS. Parking was directly in front of the control tower and easy to get into the main building for a cup of tea. A lot of people have suggested the landing fee as being a little on the pricey side however I have to say that the way I was handled and facilities on offer at Southend did not leave me feeling hard done by at all. The landing fee may have been nearly £20 however we ate in the restaurant and had 2 enormous, door step sandwiches and 2 large mugs of coffee and this came to less that £7. At some other large airports that would have been more in the order of £12. Departure was handled smoothly and I have to say that although my experience of other fields is a little limited, I really enjoyed my short flight from Earls Colne to Southend and will certainly consider another trip there soon.
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12 Aug 05 - Gerry Parsons - Lowestoft Suffolk
I visited Southend for the first time on August 2nd on a Nav trip from Beccles (pre QXC). The Tower and Approach are most helpful and the ground facilities are good.(ATIS not available via phone).Parked right in front of the tower. Southend has a very good cafe all within the main building.The only downside for me as a P/ut was the landing fee at nearly £20 for a C150. Got to be the dearest so far !! compared to Norwich at about £10.
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4 Aug 05 - Richard Morrissey - Leeds
Southend is a tidy airport, easy to find with a friendly service. I visted on 01/08/05 on a long XC from Sherburn. Booking in was no problem, tower was friendly and informative. Good facilities with ample runway and was allowed to park in front of the terminal! £20 landing fee is a little more than Im used to paying and fuel took some time to arrive however it as late in the evening. Approach was helpful on both inbound and out bound legs. Would definately go again.
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13 Jun 05 - Steve the Red - Cambridge
I visited Southend for the first time today as the first of my landings on my QXC. As I walked in and gave my callsign prior to paying up, the response was immediate: "Ah - you are my QXC student. Congratulations, well done so far." A very friendly reception. A nice airport and friendly staff. I think I may be back there again after I get my PPL.
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24 May 05 - Gavin Dresser - Southend
Southend has become my second base while im not at University, the runway, well if you cant land on it in a PA28 then somethings gone wrong! The people in the tower are great and usually helpful especially the woman in the tower, shes always very nice :) Landing fee of £13 for a PA28. If you want to get to Southend itself then the railway line from Rochford takes you right there. All round a great airfield.
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20 Feb 05 - Nick .
went to south end easy to get to north london ther south london home. easy to find on the banks of the river.

A little expensive to land £19 for pa38 but there we are if you cant afford it dont do it. Helpful and friendly staff would go again.

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2 Dec 03 - andy Other - Biggin
I'd just like to recommend WILLOWAIR at Southend as an excellent place to fly and especially if you need to either keep FAA licences and privileges up to date or acquire them, which I did recently. After a couple of years of my being away from flying, Tony Gunn, the FAA examiner/instructor on staff there, was exceptionally helpful in getting me back in harness with the BFR and instrument reclassifications I needed, and the CAA ones I wanted to renew as well. Although Southend is by no means the most local airport I could fly out of I found the staff at Willowair and ATC at the airport of the highest quality and would recommend you to use them anytime.They certainly did everything they could to help me to achieve my goals.
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1 Oct 03 - Ian Harnett - St Albans
Southend is a great place for either visiting as a pilot looking for a new place to go or as a PPL training location.

The 24 hour ATC is fantastic and they have always been very friendly. I have done various parts of my training for my PPL, IMC and night ratings visiting Southend and have nothing but praise for the place. A nice long runway - good landing aids and not too expensive for the facilities provided.

I even recently phoned with a query about take-off and landing times and the team found the paper work while I was still on the phone, even though I am not a locally based aircraft.

Don't be put off by the fact that there is radar and an ILS. If you really love aircraft then there is the extra bonus of plenty of esoteric stuff acting as "cargo" aircraft - usually a couple of 707's, typically with African registrations - and a Vulcan.
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9 Aug 03 - Stuart Oram - Southend
Currently training for NPPL at Southend (at Seawing for any interested local pilots). Lovely airfield, good for training purposes. Have to agree that ATC services and staff excellent - staff always helpful. Have to also agree, they have a nice habit of throwing orbits at students ;-) Usually good flying weather. Can't believe the airport is under threat of closure. So convienient for me, living only 10 mins away. I am continually backing Southend's campaign and will for one, not allow the airport to close 'quietly'. Can't think of enough to say to credit Southend. The airport-based fire service is also excellent - was quite interesting, 10 hours into my training, having a full fire service turnout at the end of the runway, for a radio failure!
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6 Aug 03 - David May - Chelmsford
I'm more than happy to back up Andrew above. I'm also a student PPL at Southend. Nice easy road access. Very helpful ATC (although they do have a habit of throwing orbits at you on your first solo :-) easy access for Southend town and seafront if that's your thing.

Haven't had an opportunity to try out the cuisine yet - I believe you can currently get a free breakfast as part of your landing fee if you arrive between about 8:30 and 11:00 but I'm not sure how long for.

A variety of flying schools are here for both fixed and rotary with the usual variety of price and planes. Willowair (who I'm with) also do FAA and have just acquired an 'N' reg plane.

I've read some good reports in Pilot about service received for radio repairs as well.

All in all not bad.
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6 Aug 03 - Andrew Brown - Southend
Have just started my PPL training at Southend. It is quite a busy airport with a mix of small planes and the odd BaE 146 or jets. Very nice big runway, just as well with my approaches! Good air traffic control tower which is helpful and tolerant of the odd 'Student' mess-ups on the radio.
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History

Pilot reviews of Southend Airport

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Articles Events Links News Surveys Tips Other users Feedback UKGA membership About UKGA