12 APRIL 2021
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
Controversial plans to extend the runway at Southampton Airport have been agreed following a 19-hour debate at a full meeting of Eastleigh Borough Council.
Airport bosses want to extend the runway by 164m (538ft) to allow operations by the latest Airbus and Boeing narrow bodied jet that are in fact quieter and environmentally superior to their predecessors. Twenty-two councillors voted in favour, with 13 against and one abstention.
Hundreds of people watched the debate, which was held online because of coronavirus restrictions.
Airport bosses argued the runway extension was "vital" for the site's future but campaigners and some local authorities raised objections over noise and pollution.
During a period of generally bad news the go-ahead for Southampton shows that local councils are aware of the importance for the airline industry.
Southampton operations director, Steve Szalay, was delighted: “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."
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
During the heydays of FlyBe, it was rightly argued that their presence and schedules eliminated so many millions of road miles by saving the need to travel to Gatwick. The same will undoubtedly apply to flights that will now be able to operate from the extended runway.
Philip Zeus, Reading
At last some sense with airport planning. Did someone tell the committee that airports are safer with longer runways?