Almost 2,000 people sign petition against Southampton Airport expansion plans
About 1,900 people have signed a petition opposing the expansion of Southampton Airport. The local opposition campaign, Airport eXpansion Opposition (AXO), will be asking Southampton Councillors not to back plans to extend the airport’s runway by 164 metres. AXO members will present the petition to councillors at a full council meeting. The plans to extend the runway and increase the number of flights will increase carbon emissions, and are contrary to the council’s plans to cut CO2 locally. The airport will submit its expansion planning application to Eastleigh Borough Council. AXO said that if Southampton is serious about declaring a climate emergency, the airport expansion should not be permitted. Airports and their backers try to use the argument that it is better for people to fly (as they assume people will continue to do, in growing numbers….) from a local airport, citing the carbon emissions of their trip to/from another larger airport. Those emissions are generally small compared to those of the flight itself. And the aim of having a local airport is to get people to fly more, as it is more convenient. Net effect – more flights, more carbon. And more noise and local impacts around the airport.
Nearly 2,000 people sign petition against Southampton Airport expansion
Southampton Airport wants to expand its runway
Monday 18 November 2019
The Portsmouth News
ALMOST 2,000 people have signed a petition opposing the expansion of Southampton Airport.
Campaigners will this week ask city councillors in Southampton not to back plans to extend the airport’s runway by 164 metres claiming it will affect the environment.
Members of Airport eXpansion Opposition (AXO) will present a petition signed by 1,900 people to councillors at the full council meeting set to be held on Wednesday.
Civic chiefs said they will scrutinise the plans that the airport is set to submit to Eastleigh Borough Council.
Campaigners think the plans clash with the Green City Charter that Southampton’s council launched this year to combat air pollution.
Lyn Brayshaw, a member of AXO, said: ‘Most of the points of the green city charter are contradicted by an increase in flights. We want this to be discussed at full council. If Southampton is serious about declaring a climate emergency then the airport expansion should not be on the agenda. We can’t have more flights.’
A planning application to expand the airport is expected to be submitted to Eastleigh Borough Council soon.
Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and environment at Southampton City Council, said: ‘When this has been done we will be able to scrutinise this application plus the associated documents, including the environment impact assessment. Then we will make a detailed submission to EBC planning.’
Earlier this week councillor Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, said concerns will be looked at very carefully.
It comes after airline Flybe announced it is dropping eight routes from Southampton next summer.
The airport had said this shows the need for a longer runway so a wider range of aircraft can use the site.
Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting a spokesperson for Southampton Airport added: ‘We know that people are going to continue to fly and that the demand is not going away. We strongly believe that enabling passengers to fly locally is the best solution, and our development will take thousands of needless car journeys off the region’s roads. We are just 99 steps from a major railway station and have excellent bus and onward transport links. We will grow sustainably and responsibly, sensitive to the needs of the local community.’
Cllr Dan Fitzhenry, leader of the Conservatives at Southampton City Council, said his group will listen to what campaigners have to say.
By Maria Zaccaro
Campaigners to launch protest against Southampton Airport expansion today
By Maria Zaccaro @MariaDailyEcho (Daily Echo)
20th November 2019
CAMPAIGNERS are to protest against the expansion of Southampton Airport before asking city councillors to object to the plans.
Residents are expected to take part in a demonstration in Guildhall Square at 1pm today (Nov 20) to voice their concerns over the impact the plans to extend the airport’s runway by 164 metres would have on the environment and pollution.
It comes as a petition signed by 1,900 people asking city councillors to oppose the expansion will be discussed at the full council meeting set to be held at the civic centre today at 2pm.
The airport said it has and 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”.
But Extinction Rebellion, Friends of The Earth Southampton and Airport eXpansion Opposition (AXO) have joined forces in a bid to persuade city bosses.
Gareth Narbed, speaking on behalf of AXO, said: “I’m hoping that there will be a clear statement saying that Southampton City Council oppose the airport’s expansion. We are in a climate emergency, we need a clear statement about climate emergency and the airport expansion is totally incompatible with declaring a climate emergency. The council needs to oppose the airport expansion. It’s unnecessary and harmful.”
Campaigners said the plans clash with the Green City Charter that Southampton City Council launched in June this year in a bid to tackle pollution.
Earlier this week councillor Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and environment at Southampton City Council, said civic chiefs will scrutinise the plans once they will be submitted to Eastleigh Borough Council.
Opposition leader Dan Fitzhenry said his group will be listening to the campaigners and ensure their views are fed into the planning application.
A spokesperson for Southampton Airport said the airport has met with the campaigners and spoken with them at length.
In a statement the airport added: “Whilst we fully respect their views, flying from your local airport removes thousands of unnecessary car journeys from our roads every year.
“We know people still want to fly – it’s about finding the most sustainable way forward.Our extremely carefully considered planning application will provide all the detail behind our development plans and we are hopeful that the members of Southampton City Council will review this when it goes live and endorse our plans for sustainable growth, which will bring 400 extra jobs to the area and boost financial investment from £160million a year to £275 million. ”
Local opposition growing to expansion plans by Southampton airport
A group within Southampton Friends of the Earth has set up a campaign to oppose Southampton Airport expansion. Despite the Government’s recent commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are many airport expansion applications across the UK. This expansion cannot enable the aviation sector to meet even its current, easy, carbon target – let alone the much more stringent one required for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. The airport will probably submit its planning application to extend the runway by 170 metres to Eastleigh Borough Council in the next few weeks. The scoping report and Master Plan have received approval in principle from Southampton City Council. Twyford Parish Council has objected, due to a proposed increase of flights over the village. Eastleigh Greens are likely to be objecting as well. Friends of the Earth Southampton are currently putting together a petition to Southampton City Council to ask them to re-think their support for airport expansion, given that the Government is asking for net zero carbon by 2050. Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion but it has not got a name yet. People interested can get in touch via the local FoE group email@example.com