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On 10th April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council voted to approve our crucial runway extension planning application. Please consult this website for more information, updates, and FAQs regarding our runway extension plans.

Planning Application Approved Why we need the runway extension Benefits of the runway extension Carbon Neutrality and Sustainability FAQs Register for Updates

Runway planning application approved

On 10th April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council resolved to approve Southampton Airport’s crucial runway planning application at a meeting of its Full Council, subject to the signing of the Section 106 Agreement.

Since the Full Council vote in April, Southampton Airport has been working with Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to finalise the Section 106 Agreement, a legal document that sets out how the longer runway can be built and operated. I am pleased to announce that the Secretary of State has not called in the application and the Section 106 Agreement has now been signed, which means that full planning permission has been formally granted. This gives a green-light for a much-needed 164m extension to the northern end of our runway.

Responding to the positive decision from Eastleigh Borough Council, Operations Director, 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. We considered these views carefully during the application process – and you can see how we have responded in the FAQs section below. In addition, please be assured that we want to work with residents to mitigate these issues going forwards.

“We are eager to get on and deliver this essential project, which will create jobs and secure economic benefits for the Central South region. We are therefore hopeful that construction will not be too delayed by legal challenges and appeals, which would only serve to delay the employment opportunities and enhanced connectivity that a longer runway will provide.

We will keep this website updated with news and next steps regarding the approved runway plans. To keep up-to-date as we move forwards, please register for updates using the button below. If you have any other queries, please contact us via feedback@southamptonairport.com

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Key features of our Planning Application

 

Our approved plans will not lead to an expansion of the airport site. Southampton’s longer runway and expanded parking facilities will be fully contained within the current airport boundary.

 

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Why we need the runway extension

In April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council approved the airport’s application for a 164-metre extension to the northern end of our runway. The runway extension, which remains fully within our current boundaries, is absolutely critical to our viability as a regional airport.

The collapse of Flybe – which provided 89% of our passengers – placed the future of Southampton Airport in very real doubt. The airport’s runway length is no longer suitable for today’s modern airline fleets, so there is an urgent and pressing need to attract new airlines to the airport.

By extending the runway by just 164 metres, the approved application will make the airport economically viable for a wider range of carriers – guaranteeing our viability, safeguarding regional connectivity, and protecting thousands of jobs across the South linked to our operations.

Benefits of the runway extension

Most importantly, the runway extension will safeguard the viability of your local airport and protect the connectivity that links our region to destinations across the rest of the UK and Europe. A longer runway will allow us to attract new airlines and offer new routes, creating exciting opportunities for business and leisure, while contributing the Central South’s economic success.

Approval of our runway extension unlocks a £15m investment into the airport, which we’re confident will play an essential role in the region’s post-pandemic recovery. We estimate that the runway extension will generate an additional 2.8% of economic growth in the Solent LEP area by 2027.

Jobs will be created once construction begins, with new employment opportunities opening up at the airport over the medium and longer-term as a result of the new runway.

Following extensive consultation, our plans now include a cap on growth to no more than 3 million passengers per year – though we would not expect to reach this figure until 2033. This cap will be enforced by new controls on noise and vehicle movements. As a result, our application gives Eastleigh Borough Council more control over the airport than it had before.

Additionally, our approved runway application also includes provision of an enhanced noise insulation scheme for homes and public buildings, that goes beyond the industry standard.

However, we can only deliver these community benefits once construction begins, so we hope not to be delayed too much by legal challenges and appeals.

Viability

The runway extension is essential for the airport’s viability. Extending the runway will make the airport economically viable for a wider range of airlines, ensuring that we remain viable as a regional airport.

Economic Recovery

It will inject tens of millions into the regional economy. We need to build our way to economic recovery after the damaging effects of the pandemic. Our runway extension will significantly grow the economy, leading the South back to prosperity.

Jobs

Extending the runway will create hundreds of new jobs; legal challenges and appeals will only delay employment opportunities for local people.

Regional Connectivity

Regional connectivity is critical to economic success. A longer runway will allow us to offer new destinations, creating exciting opportunities for business and leisure.

Fewer Journeys to London

With a longer runway offering more destinations, thousands of passengers from our local area will be able to fly from Southampton instead of London airports, reducing carbon emissions and traffic on our roads;

Carbon Neutral

Southampton Airport is now Carbon Neutral, but we want to go further. Our runway proposals are accompanied by a bold plan to further reduce carbon emissions and embrace greener, more sustainable aviation.

FAQs

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Why do we need a runway extension?

In April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council approved the airport’s application for a 164-metre extension to the northern end of our runway. The runway extension, which remains fully within our current boundaries, is absolutely critical to our viability as a regional airport.

The collapse of Flybe – which provided 89% of our passengers – placed the future of Southampton Airport in very real doubt. The airport’s runway length is no longer suitable for today’s modern airline fleets, so there is an urgent and pressing need to attract new airlines to the airport.

By extending the runway by just 164 metres, the approved application will make the airport economically viable for a wider range of carriers – guaranteeing our viability, safeguarding regional connectivity, and protecting thousands of jobs across the South linked to our operations.

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Did the runway extension enjoy support from local people?

Eastleigh Borough Council undertook four extensive public consultations, giving residents and businesses opportunities to have their say on the runway extension proposal. As an airport, we were greatly encouraged that a clear majority of respondents expressed their support for the runway extension. 60.1% of planning file comments had backed the plans by April 2021, including a majority of respondents from Eastleigh postcodes (SO50 and SO53).

We were also pleased to receive the overwhelming support of the local business community, notably from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Business South, and the Eastleigh Business Improvement District (BID).

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Will the runway extension have an impact on local highways?

Our approved plans will deliver a cap on growth to no more than 3 million passengers per year – though we would not expect to reach this figure until 2033. One way in which this will be enforced is through a new control on the number of vehicle trips into and out of the airport.

The control, which has been confirmed as acceptable for highway capacity by Hampshire County Council, will ensure that the airport does not contribute negatively to congestion on the local and strategic road network. We will also continue to encourage passengers to access the airport via more sustainable modes of travel, such as public transport.

While there is currently no limit on vehicle movements to the airport, our approved plans allow Eastleigh Borough Council to monitor and enforce a cap. As a result, our runway extension gives Eastleigh Borough Council more control over the airport than it had before.

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Will the runway extension affect noise?

As a responsible neighbour, the quality of life and wellbeing of our communities matters to Southampton Airport. We listened carefully during the public consultations on the runway extension and engaged closely with Eastleigh Borough Council on noise.

Noise Cap
Our approved plans will deliver a cap on noise. The consent from Eastleigh Borough Council includes a new control by limiting the level of noise permitted within a defined geographical area. While there is currently no limit on noise levels around the airport, our approved plans allow Eastleigh Borough Council to monitor and enforce a cap. As a result, our runway extension gives Eastleigh Borough Council more control over the airport than it had before.

Enhanced Noise Insulation Scheme
As part of its approved runway application, Southampton Airport has gone beyond the industry standard by agreeing to fund noise insulation measures in all homes and noise-sensitive public buildings (schools, hospitals, and care homes) affected by 60 decibels, rather than 63.

This enhanced noise insulation scheme is an integral part of the planning consent, so any issues arising from legal challenges or appeals would delay the provision of greater noise insulation.

We will be proactively reaching out to eligible residents and occupiers in tandem with the construction process, once this begins.

Preferred routes and monitoring
All aircraft operating at the airport must use our Noise Preferred Routes (NPRs). We monitor compliance and hold airlines to account.

Continued engagement on noise complaints
We will continue to engage with the Southampton Airport Consultative Committee and respond to any residents who have noise concerns. For more information, please click here.

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When will construction of the runway begin?

Southampton Airport is keen to deliver this important project for the region as soon as we have satisfied the planning conditions set out by Eastleigh Borough Council. Construction should take approximately 32 weeks and will follow strict rules agreed with the Council.

However, we are not yet in a position to confirm the start date of works on the runway, as we could be delayed by legal challenges and appeals. Once we have an update, we’ll update this website, as well as relevant site neighbours.

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Will the runway proposals involve an expansion of the airport’s boundaries?

No. Our approved plans will not lead to an expansion of the airport site. Southampton’s longer runway will be fully contained within the current airport boundary.

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Will there be any change to the airport’s flying hours?

No. As a good neighbour, we have been committed to a no night flights policy since 1991, and we will keep to this pledge.

There are no plans to change the airport’s flying hours and the runway extension will not lead to night flights. Our flying hours are subject to planning condition and must be limited to between:

Mon – Sat 06.00 to 23.00
Sun: 07.30 to 23.00

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How is the airport addressing Climate Change?

At Southampton Airport, we are passionate about delivering a greener, more sustainable future and committed to working with residents and local authorities to tackle the Climate Emergency.

For further information on how we are reducing our carbon impact, as well as our recent achievement of Carbon Neutral status, please review our Tackling Climate Change Fact Sheet and the Carbon Neutrality and Sustainability section of this webpage.

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How is the airport addressing air quality?

Southampton Airport has modelled the effects of the development on air quality in 72 locations around the airfield site. It has been demonstrated that the proposed development will have no significant impact on local air quality or odour.

Carbon Neutrality and Sustainability

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Offset all CO2 Emissions

As of May 2020, all of our CO2 emissions identified in our carbon footprint are offset.

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One of the first UK airports to offset all CO2 emissions

We are amongst the very first airports in the UK to offset all of our CO2 emissions, making this a tremendous achievement not just for the airport but Eastleigh, and regional transport.

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Reduced carbon emissions

We have reduced our carbon emissions by nearly 80% since 2015.

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Offset emissions created by passengers and staff

As well as our own emissions, we have offset those created by passengers and staff journeying to and from the airport, from the landing and take-off cycle to third-party emissions generated on site.

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Continue to reduce emissions

We will continue to work with Eastleigh Borough Council to reduce our emissions and achieve Net Zero.

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Flying regionally is better for the planet

Flying regionally reduces carbon emissions, producing less CO2 and easing road congestion compared with travelling to larger hub airports to fly. Our calculations show that a passenger flying to Bordeaux from a Southampton postcode would generate 20% less CO2 than flying from Gatwick, and nearly 30% less than driving to Bordeaux.

For more information, please read our Carbon Neutral newsletter.

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Jet Zero

AGS Airports is fully engaged with the Jet Zero Council and sits on the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Delivery Group. At Southampton Airport, we are committed to the UK Aviation Net Zero Action Plan, which sets out the deliverable roadmap for the UK aviation industry to reach Net Zero. Read more about the Action Plan below:

UK Aviation Net Zero Action Plan

Messages of SOUpport

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Resident of Eastleigh

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Eastleigh Resident

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Resident of Chandlers Ford

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Resident of Southampton

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Southampton Resident

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The Alderney Chamber of Commerce

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President of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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Resident of Dibden Purlieu

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Resident of Calmore

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Resident of Emsworth

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Resident of West End

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Resident of Salisbury

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Resident of Bramdean

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Resident of Locks Heath

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Resident of Hedge End

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Resident of Sarisbury Green

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Resident of Ryde, Isle of Wight

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Hedge End Resident

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Resident of Botley

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Resident of Fareham