Southampton Airport boss warns runway extension refusal 'would risk 2,000 jobs'

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Local residents and businesses are being urged to get behind plans to extend the runway at Southampton Airport or risk putting 2,000 jobs at risk.

The new operations director has warned that if proposals are not given the go ahead, thousands of jobs could be lost which are "vital to the recovery of the local economy".

Steve Szalay was speaking at the start of a second public consultation on plans for a 164 metre runway extension within the airport's existing boundaries.

Steve Szalay Credit: Southampton Airport

With the impact to employment from this pandemic already weighing heavy, we can do something to secure the jobs at the airport by getting this extension built. If we don’t, the reality is that more than 2,000 jobs will be at risk, creating a huge knock-on impact on thousands of local households.

Steve Szalay, Operations Director, Southampton Airport

Steve Szalay added: “This is not about airport expansion, it is not about bigger planes.  It is about enabling us to use existing aircraft more efficiently and effectively and creating vital extra connectivity for the region."

But opponents say that the extension would impact the environment and increase pollution.

The airport said it will continue to work with ecologists, environmental and technical experts to ensure the planned development is carried out "sensitive to the needs of the community".

The public consultation will last for four weeks and can be viewed here.