Eastleigh Borough Council has approved plans to extend the runway at Southampton Airport allowing for longer-haul flights and growth in passenger numbers. The 164m extension to the northern end of the runway could open routes to eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, give a much-needed boost to the economy and create a raft of new jobs.
The controversial decision was made after a lengthy debate, with opposition citing pollution and noise as the main issues – already carbon neutral, Southampton Airport says that the 'runway proposals were accompanied by a bold plan to further reduce carbon emissions and embrace greener, more sustainable aviation.’
Responding to the positive decision from the council, operations director at Southampton Airport, Steve Szalay, said: “This is the news we have been hoping for and working so hard to achieve. By listening to the overwhelming public and business support, as well as the planning officer’s recommendation to approve, the councillors have safeguarded the future of the airport. The decision also ensures we are well placed to provide employment and support the region as we seek to recover post-pandemic.
“We are excited about our future. This positive decision allows us to further develop our plans, play a full part in the Solent Freeport and deliver on our commitments set out within the planning application, which will further enrich our neighbouring communities.
“Thank you to everyone who has engaged with the consultations and shared their thoughts and opinions. We listened and reflected your feedback within our plans. You have helped shape the future of Southampton Airport.
“We appreciate that some of our neighbours have concerns regarding noise and the environment. Please be assured that we want to work with residents to mitigate these issues going forward.”