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Runway at Southampton Airport could be extended

Words: Laura Edgar
Southampton Airport / Geograph by Peter Facey

Southampton Airport has submitted an application to Eastleigh Borough Council for the extension of its runway by 164 metres.

The planning application represents the first phase of growth outlined the airport's masterplan, A Vision For Sustainable Growth.

As well as extension of the northern end of the runway, the proposal comprises construction of an associated blast screen to the north of the proposed runway extension, removal of existing bund, and the reconfiguration and extension of existing long-stay car parking to the east and west of Mitchell Way to provide an additional 600 spaces.

According to the airport, extending the runway within its existing boundaries would allow the airport to increase passenger numbers from two to three million a year. It would also be able to “significantly” increase route choices for business and leisure passengers, bringing destinations in Scandinavia, the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe within reach.

Managing director Neil Garwood said: “Our plans will make the airport resilient to changes in the aviation market as the longer runway permits year-round viability for an increased number of airlines.”

He explained that the longer runway would enable the airport to increase its financial contribution from £160 million to £400 million a year and create more than 500 new jobs.

“Our development plans have been carefully prepared by a project team including ecologists and technical experts, sensitive to the needs of the local community, including comprehensive noise and air-quality management plans.

“The airport has nearly four million people in its catchment area, and we firmly believe enabling them to fly from their local airport and taking tens of thousands of needless car journeys off of our already congested roads is the most sustainable way to fly.

“In construction terms, the runway extension is relatively small, but the benefit it will make to our region’s connectivity is significant.”

Image credit | Peter Facey