We are not only committed to running Southampton Airport responsibly and minimising the adverse effects our operations may have, but we take great pride in being a good neighbour to the local communities and wider region we serve.
Our team works closely with the local community and reports on a regular basis to the Southampton Airport Consultative Committee.
The airport and its people are involved in several local community projects and partnerships, including:
BITTERNE PARK SCHOOL ALREADY ON SITE
The airport’s decades-long partnership with Bitterne Park School includes work experience opportunities for students studying travel & tourism. A member of the Southampton Airport senior management team acts as school governor at Bitterne on a volunteer basis. In September 2017, the airport supported the introduction of a brand-new seating area and study facility within the school’s new building. The airport has worked with Bitterne Park to create and deliver the facility, which provides a flexible space that positively supports learning and is also a great place for the pupils to relax with friends.
Being a school governor is a commitment and a responsibility the airport’s staff member takes seriously. It provides a chance to see first-hand the impact that can be made by improving education for children within the local community.
NEW ENGINEERING APPRENTICE
Southampton Airport has participated in an apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Eastleigh College during the last three of years. The programme provides fantastic on-the- job training and mentoring, which is delivered by our dedicated and experienced engineering team. Apprentices split their time between the airport and college over a period of three years, while working towards attaining their Advanced Level Electro Technical qualification.
SOLENT UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP
Each year we welcome Tourism and Air Travel Management students from Southampton Solent University to the airport. Tourism and Air Travel Management students have visited Southampton Airport for a number of years. As part of the partnership, we provide the students with an insight into both our airport operations and the wider aviation industry.
The annual event, which includes a comprehensive tour of the airport campus – including a much-anticipated trip out to the runway, a presentation from our management team and a Q&A session - has become a regular fixture between the airport and university and has enhanced the course curriculum and supports the student’s studies.
SUPPORTING LOCAL VETERANS
Southampton Airport stepped in to support the efforts of the Not Forgotten charity, which supports serving and ex-service men and women.
The airport provided the of use of a car park to enable the charity to host its festive Jingle Bell Rock concert in accordance with local and government guidance in place for Christmas 2020.
More than 100 local veterans and their guests enjoyed a hog roast and a drive-in concert hosted by the charity’s entertainment team
Southampton Airport and its business partners are always conscious about minimising food waste.
Last year a large amount of supplies were going to go to waste as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; however, staff quickly developed a plan that ensured the food was donated to the Faithworks Wessex and Poole Waste Not Want Not organisation.
Red more about their work here: Poole Food Bank - Faithworks (faithworkswessex.org.uk)
Southampton airport and its people played an important role in the national response to the worst pandemic in our lifetime.
The airport remained open throughout the global crisis to support a number if critical operations including lifeline services to the Channel Islands as well as providing important connectivity for the local area.
In the early days of the pandemic our long-stay car park was offered to – and used by - the UK government as a Covid-19 testing centre.
VIRTUAL RUNWAY RUN
The pandemic may have stopped the airport hosting its popular runway run, but staff and volunteers were able to join in a virtual version during 2020.
On Sunday 1 November 2020 over 100 people, led by a small number of staff on site, were able to take part in a virtual version by using the Runway Run Challenge on the STRAVA app.
Thanks to the help of partner organisation Challenging Events, more than £1000 was raised to support the development of a new general intensive care unit at University Southampton Hospital.
SUPPORT FOR EASTLEIGH YOUTH GROUP
Southampton Airport is proud to be long-term volunteer partner and supporter of Youth Options. The charity does amazing work for young people across Eastleigh and Southampton, helping them to build confidence and enhance their wellbeing through engagement with nature.
Southampton Airport and their supplier teams have been offering practical help, clearing brambles, renovating a polytunnel, and planting a new hedgerow and tree saplings at the charity’s new Bishopstoke Road Outdoor Learning Centre. The new planting and polytunnel will open up new and valuable opportunities for local young people to connect with nature and improve their mental health.
Carly Redwood, Fundraising and Communications Manager at Youth Options, stated:
“We could not be more grateful to Southampton Airport for volunteering at our Outdoor Learning Centre in Eastleigh. We always look forward to them joining the team for the day, and the centre wouldn’t look the same without them.
“We can’t wait to reap the benefits of the trees they have planted, and offer horticulture programmes to children and young people in our newly erected Polytunnel which they helped to make possible.”
Marlhill Copse is an impressive and much-loved part of Southampton’s historic and natural environment. The Copse is an Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, a Registered Park and Garden, and a valued habitat site. In August 2018 Southampton Airport purchased Marlhill Copse, in order to undertake tree management work required under European aviation legislation and designed to protect aircraft operating in the area.
As responsible owners, we have a duty of care to the community to keep the woodland a safe and accessible place for all to enjoy. As stewards of this local treasure, we want to protect and enhance the Copse so that it flourishes in the years to come.
Our vision for Marlhill Copse is to deliver a place of extraordinary biodiversity that provides a safe, sustainable, and accessible space which educates, inspires, and is prized by all. Details of our Woodland Management Plan - a long-term programme that will maintain and enhance the woodland, ensure safety and accessibility, protect and enhance special character, and support vital biodiversity. You can read up more on this project here.