The airport’s plans to extend the runway would see an increase in the number of flights to Southampton as well as the ability for the airport to facilitate much larger planes, such as the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737, which are needed to reach holiday destinations in Southern Europe.
However, neighbouring councils alongside environmental campaigners have expressed concern over increased noise and air pollution. A further public consultation with Eastleigh Borough Council is now expected.
The expansion could provide a long-term boost to the local economy.
The airport’s managing director, Steve Szalay, confirmed to the BBC that ‘If I don't get the runway I don't know what we do because we are not viable moving forward.’
Southampton and Winchester City Councils have previously objected to the plans, on the grounds of climate change and noise pollution.
Southampton’s short runway, in combination with the economic impacts of COVID-19, could see the regional hub close in 2021, in what would be a devastating blow for the south east.
Featured image Credit: Geograph.org.uk