Why we need the runway extension
Why we need the runway extension
In November 2019 Southampton Airport submitted a planning application to Eastleigh Borough Council seeking permission for a 164-metre extension to the northern end of our runway. It’s a short extension that remains fully within our current boundaries, but it is absolutely critical to our viability as a regional airport.
Following the collapse of Flybe – which provided 80% of our routes – and the damaging impact of the pandemic, the future of Southampton Airport is in doubt. The airport’s runway length is no longer suitable for today’s modern airline fleets, and so there is an urgent and pressing need to attract new airlines to the airport.
But to attract new airlines, we need the runway extension.
Extending the runway by just 164 metres will make the airport economically viable for a wider range of airlines – guaranteeing our survival, safeguarding regional connectivity, and protecting thousands of jobs across the South linked to our operations.
We are very proud of the airport’s crucial role in the South’s economy – and we’re confident that our runway extension can play an essential role in the post-Coronavirus recovery by opening up new routes to destinations across Europe.
We provide vital transport connections, linking our region to the rest of the UK and western Europe, and giving local businesses, large and small, opportunities to grow and expand. The value of this regional connectivity is measured in the thousands of jobs and livelihoods which directly depend on our operations.
Whether it’s a family holiday, a business trip, or a vital link to family and friends, we’re proud to be there for communities across the South.
But if we don’t secure the runway extension, our continued service is in doubt.
How you can help
How you can help
Eastleigh Borough Council is due to make a final decision on our runway planning application at a meeting of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee in the coming few months. In advance of this, the Council has now opened a four-week period for public re-consultation.
Local support will be a key factor when local councillors decide on our planning application, so it is vital that you take this opportunity to formally register your support for Southampton Airport's plans.
You can do this in two short steps:
1. Registering your support on the planning file
2. Contacting local politicians
Registering Your Support
Registering your support with Eastleigh Borough Council is easy to do and takes a matter of minutes:
Click here to submit your supportive comments directly;
Or email your supportive comments regarding Southampton Airport's runway plans, explaining why you believe the extension needs to go ahead, to email@example.com. You will need to quote the reference F/19/86707 in your email.
Carbon Neutrality and Sustainability
Offset all CO2 Emissions
As of May 2020, all of our CO2 emissions identified in our carbon footprint are offset.
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.
Reduced carbon emissions
We have reduced our carbon emissions by nearly 80% since 2015.
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.
Continue to reduce emissions
We will continue to work with Eastleigh Borough Council to reduce our emissions and achieve Net Zero.
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.
Why do we need a runway extension?
Extending the runway by just 164 metres will make the airport economically viable for a wider range of airlines – guaranteeing our survival, safeguarding regional connectivity, and protecting thousands of jobs across the South linked to our operations. For further information, please visit our why we need the runway extension section.
What are we doing about aircraft noise?
As a responsible neighbour, the quality of life and wellbeing of our communities matters to Southampton Airport. As we progress our runway extension application, we will be taking the following steps to address aircraft noise:
- A Noise Insulation Scheme:Launched in early 2020, households are now able to apply for financial assistance towards noise insulation
- Noise limits: We place strict limits on noisier aircraft – aircraft operating at Southampton must conform to the latest regulations. Aircraft are becoming quieter all the time as technology improves; new aircraft using Southampton will use new technology.
- 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: If you have a noise concern, we always want to hear from you.
Will the runway proposals involve an expansion of the airport’s boundaries?
Our 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.
Will there be any change to the airport’s flying hours?
No. 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
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 visit our carbon neutrality and sustainability section.
How is the airport addressing air quality?
We support initiatives to take traffic off the road and improve air quality in the local area. For example, we have:
- Delivered a 120% increase in public transport use since 2010
- Increased coach and bus links
- Introduced an air quality monitoring programme
- Promoted rail-and-air ticketing
- Installed electric vehicle charging points
Alongside our runway extension, we will:
- Encourage passengers and business partners to use public transport safely
- Commit to a limit on road traffic vehicle movements
- Increase our carbon offsetting, including through tree-planting schemes
Our modelling shows that passenger numbers can grow to 3 million without significantly impacting on the road network. Our forecasts also show public transport growing to 31% by 2037.
Register for Updates
Register for Updates
If you would like to be kept up-to-date on our proposed runway extension proposals, please leave your details in the Register for Updates form below.
Messages of SOUpport
Quotes from the local community
“I will come & help build it myself if needs be!!! I’m a Dublin girl living 25 minutes from Southampton Airport & the recent demise of Flybe has been like having the umbilical cord cut from my Family...Southampton Airport is a fantastic place & with such amazing staff..I really hope for everyone that things get back to normal sooner rather than later..#extendthatrunway #voteyeseastleighcouncil #lookafterthepeople” – Resident of Bramdean
“We need to maintain and expand our airport to support future requirements. The loss of Flybe was devastating to the region. I am hoping the planned expansion of the runway will allow other airlines to consider/choose to fly from this airport.” – Resident of Eastleigh
“Lived in Eastleigh all my life, the airport is part of Eastleigh.” – Resident of Eastleigh
“I depend on Southampton airport to travel to Northern Ireland at all times of the year to see my family, especially aged parents. Having to travel to Gatwick or Heathrow would mean two days of my holiday would be spent travelling by train or coach and hanging around airports, rather than having quality time with all my family.” – Resident of Southampton
“Of utmost is the protection and retention of the route to Alderney. We see this as a lifeline route and absolutely key to OUR viability and way of life.” – Resident of Alderney
“As my job requires me to regularly access the Channel Islands, I am passionate that our local airport in Southampton must continue. If this runway extension is necessary for that to happen, then we must support this work.” – Resident of Locks Heath
“I regularly used Southampton Airport to fly to Jersey and Newcastle but since Flybe collapsed I was worried about losing this vital link as I live on the I.O.W. if I lost the airport I'd have to bring my car over to the mainland and drive to Newcastle which would increase my carbon footprint. Any opportunity to expand the airport is welcomed by me.” – Resident of the Isle of Wight
"We regularly used Southampton & Flybe to travel for both short breaks as well as frequent trips to see our extended family in NI via Belfast City. No local alternative exists but maintaining our family connectivity is very important to us.” – Resident of Hedge End
“As I am studying a part-time MSc at Dundee University, I rely on Southampton Airport to attend classes. In addition, my parents live in France and my work requires European travel.” – Resident of Winterslow, Wiltshire
“It is a vital link for me as (until recently) I flew from Southampton most weeks. I couldn’t sustain travelling to Manchester and Glasgow from LHR AND GTW. My travel footprint would be too large and the time it adds to my days too long. This meant having to stay overnight which I can’t keep up as I also have to care for my mother.” – Resident of Waterlooville
“It is imperative we retain our local airport links. I need this link for my job to travel in Uk and overseas. There is no alternative transport system. An over crowded 4 coach train service to the North is no adequate replacement.” – Resident of Hedge End
“Southampton is an ideal airport for our area , only 40 mins up the road . Such a shame it's now like a ghost town . Also our granddaughter lost her cabin crew job with Flybe along with many more workers . We need the airport back up and running for everyone.” – Resident of Gosport
“Southampton is a fantastic airport, extremely convenient, hassle free and saves a 3 hour round trip to London’s airports. If the airport were to close traffic on the M3 would increase along with associated impacts to air quality and climate change.” – Resident of Chandlers Ford
“I rely on Southampton airport to fly to and from University. It is a vital airport for me.” – Resident of Chandlers Ford
“Well, I work at the airport for Swissport as a leading hand, been there for 13 & a half years. I need my job, just like everyone else there whose job is on the line, most of us all have bills to pay & families to feed, but i love what I do, no 2 days are the same, & I wouldn't know what to do for another job. So we need this runway extension asap.” – Resident of Netley Abbey
“I used the airport for both business and holidays. The loss of Flybe flights is impacting greatly on my opportunities both at work and in my private life. There are no other options offering so much flexibility at the moment.” – Resident of Southampton
“The local area needs the airport for job security as well as connectivity. We have family and friends in many parts of the UK and NI who use the airport frequently and without our local airport it makes their journeys that much more stressful and difficult.” – Resident of Southampton
“Vital to support and serve the millions of tourists who use the airport on route to cruise liners, local commuters and industrial links with the north of our country.” – Resident of Winchester
“The airport is vital to local businesses and with the demise of Flybe is having an effect on my own business travel.” – Resident of Dibden Purlieu
“Having a local airport means less travelling to London airports, so helps congestion on the roads and the climate. London airports are already struggling with capacity it makes sense to have a local airport that can attract bigger planes to go to different destinations. The airport creates jobs and supports local businesses.” – Resident from Sarisbury Green
“I love Southampton airport it's great for connectivity within the UK as I am originally from the North of England so use it a lot to fly and visit family but would love to be able to get to more European destinations and attract more airlines to the airport with jet aircraft able to land and takeoff. The extension is a fantastic idea for the area and jobs.” – Resident from Havant
“It's vital that Southampton gets planning permission to expand the runway. We need to reduce our reliance on London airports and make the whole of the South of England more connected.” – Resident from Christchurch
“We have used this airport many times and know that is a lifeline for some people attending Southampton hospital for essential cancer treatment.” – Resident from Ryde, Isle of Wight
“Southampton Airport is a vital to keep the City connected to the rest of the UK. It is also a life line for the Channel Islands ensuring the sick children, cancer and heart patients are treated at the General Hospital. Many flights connecting into Europe are also essential for the businesses in our area, easy access always encourages business growth. No time in our history could it be more important than when the lockdown around the world begins to ease to ensure work and stability for the South of England.” – Resident from Southampton
“As a disabled single pensioner I find it difficult to get to Heathrow or Gatwick. Therefore are use Southampton Airport a great deal. It would be very difficult for me should it close.” – Resident of Hedge End
“European connectivity via a regional airport is essential for the long term prosperity of the area.” – Resident of Botley
“The siting of the airport is so important to the economy of the south. The runway is a must if the airport is to survive. It needs to keep up to date to meet the demands by using modern planes. It needs competing airlines that will only come with larger planes, hence longer runway.” – Resident of Fareham
“Saves driving to Heathrow and Gatwick making it a much greener option.” – Resident of Southampton
“For my partner who is in the navy - its vitality important that we have Southampton airport in order for him to get back from the likes of Scotland.” – Resident of Fareham