Plans to expand the runway at Southampton Airport would create 500 new jobs, it has been revealed.
The Hampshire airport unveiled its draft Master Plan which sets out its long-term vision for growth and will begin a six-week public consultation today (September 19).
Under the proposals the runway would be extended and the existing terminal building would be expanded, with 500 new jobs being created.
The runway extension would see the number of passengers using Southampton Airport more than double from two million a year to five million.
The airport also aims to contribute £400m to the economy per annum by 2037.
Neil Garwood, Managing Director of Southampton Airport, said: ‘Southampton Airport is a key component of Hampshire’s transport infrastructure and, as one of the largest employers, it makes a significant contribution to the local economy.
‘Our Master Plan details the investment and development required to not only maintain, but importantly how to improve our region’s future connectivity and economic prosperity.
‘There are constraints which we must, together with our local communities, overcome if we are to realise our ambition. Southampton Airport has one of the shortest runways in the UK and is unable to provide the same breadth of European air services that other regional airports can offer.
‘We are therefore keen to address this to allow us to provide an enhanced choice of air services to European destinations for our customers and the region as a whole.’
The Eastleigh MP Mims Davies added: ‘This is great news for the community that the ability to fly and work at Southampton Airport will be increased.
‘As the local Member of Parliament, it’s my aim to make sure those great opportunities for our local businesses or holiday-makers are balanced with environmental concerns and the challenge of growing.
‘My experience of the airport is that they are a good friendly neighbour and I’ll be making sure we are all working together to deliver the thriving airport with a strong environmental footprint.'
During the six week consultation period a series of drop-in sessions will be held at the following venues:
- Friday 5 October – Shawford Parish Hall, 16:00 – 21:00
- Monday 8 October – Holiday Inn Eastleigh, 16:00 – 21:00
- Tuesday 16 October – Bitterne Park School, 16:00 – 21:00
- Saturday 20 October – Southampton Airport, 09:00 – 13:00
Robin Shepherd, Partner at Barton Willmore which provides planning and design consultancy in Portsmouth and Southampton, has welcomed the ‘bold move’.
He said: ‘Everyone knows we need the economy to grow, and expansion of the airport is a major mechanism to achieve that – not just for Southampton but for the region as a whole.
‘We now have an opportunity to leverage huge benefits, but we must do this while making sure that the relationship between the city, the airport, and the wider economy is fully understood.
‘There are exciting infrastructure developments in the south – we have smart motorways under development, and schemes like the potential South Hampshire light rail schemes coming in and out of view.'
To view the Southampton Airport Master Plan and find out further information on how to submit your views please visit the website here
The consultation will close on Tuesday 30 October 2018.