Work begins on controversial extension of Southampton Airport's runway

A ground-breaking event took place on Friday, March 31. Credit: Southampton Airport

Work has officially begun on the controversial extension of Southampton Airport's runway.

A ground-breaking event took place on Friday, March 31, attended by local politicians.

Environmental campaigners fought to stop the expansion citing climate change and noise pollution.

However, in August 2022, the Court of Appeal ruled that the extension of the runway by 164 metres could go ahead.

The longer runway means bigger aircraft will be able to use the airport, bringing more airlines, destinations and jobs to the region.

Plans also include an extra 600 car parking spaces.

The airport says the expansion is crucial to help protect jobs and will bring millions into the local economy.

Travel experts say a longer runway means the airport can attract more airlines, offering extra destinations.

The airport's runway will be extended by 164 metres. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Steve Szalay, Operations Director at Southampton Airport, stated: "The extension represents an exciting, £17m investment into the South's economy, will help safeguard our region's connectivity, and protect thousands of jobs connected to our operations.

"I want to thank everyone in the community who supported these plans, which will unlock major economic development in Eastleigh."

Construction of the runway extension will progress from April 3.

The work will take place at night, to avoid disruption to flight operations and should be concluded on or around August 17.