Southampton Airport News
Protest by opponents of Southampton airport, against the “madness” of its expansion plans
Opponents of expansion of Southampton airport took part in a protest on Saturday 29th, as did many other groups at airports across the UK. The group say the airport should not be expanding, at a time of climate crisis, and the impact would be a needless increase in carbon emissions, from the extra flights using the airport. They said 1. The economic case does not stack up, in jobs, house prices or health impacts. 2. The noise impacts of expansion, with many more local people negatively affected. 3. More air pollution will affect local health and mortality rates, from an increase (the airport’s own figures) of 272% in NOx emissions. 4. No figures have been provided for ultrafine particles, which could be even worse than NOx for human health. 5. The expansion will contribute to climate change and a ‘carbon-neutral’ airport is a myth; the expansion would roughly double current carbon emissions, and the airport is only looking to offset the relatively small ground emissions, not those from flights.
Southampton airport runway extension plans would lead to higher CO2 emissions
Plans to lengthen Southampton Airport’s runway (by 164 metres) have come under fire amid concerns over their impact on climate change. The airport’s 2nd public consultation on revised plans has now been launched. Local campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) said: “A ‘carbon-neutral’ airport’ is like ‘fat-free lard’. It’s just not possible. We need to act now on climate change. Lower carbon fuels and electric planes capable of carrying significant numbers of passengers are decades away. The airport says extending the runway isn’t about ‘bigger planes’. But its own figures show that it is about flying many more of the bigger, noisier A320 jets than previously. The result of this is, as the new documents show, over 40,000 extra local people being exposed to aircraft noise.” And “Regional connectivity can be maintained with the airport as it currently is, and since most travellers are UK residents heading out on holiday most of the benefit of their travel will be abroad.” The airport claims its future is in doubt (usual stuff about jobs…) unless it lengthens the runway.
Public consultation over Southampton runway extension slightly delayed – and campaigners fight for Marlhill Copse trees
The public consultation through Eastleigh Borough Council over plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway by 164 metres has been delayed. It was due to start on July 10th, but now the start date is not known – the delay may only be a week or so. The consultation is due to last 30 days. The airport also wants to add 600 more parking spaces to the existing long stay car park. There is a lot of local opposition to the plans, largely due to the noise impact and the extra carbon emissions of more flights. Neighbouring local authorities including Winchester and Southampton councils objected to the scheme. There has already been one consultation, in late 2019, and the airport may make modifications in this second consultation. The final decision will be by Eastleigh Borough Council. The airport bought a small woodland near the airport, Marlhill Copse in 2018. It now wants to fell many of the trees, citing safety concerns. The trees in fact would only be a potential safety concern if the airport is allowed to expand. Three trees have already been felled, on the pretext of “good forestry management”. Campaigners are trying to get this tree felling and tree height reduction stopped.
Southampton Airport expansion plans go to second consultation – no date yet set
The airport plans to extend the runway by 164m to allow for larger 190-seater aircraft, and more flights. It wants to double the number of passengers. Its plans will go to a second public consultation, by Eastleigh council, before a decision is made. Environmental campaigners and two neighbouring councils, Southampton and Winchester, have raised concerns over noise and air pollution. The airport makes the usual statements about lots of new jobs, and local economic boost (in reality, more of the passengers will be people in the area taking holidays abroad, taking their leisure money out of the UK). Local group, AXO, Airport Expansion Opposition, has been leading opposition to the plans. A final decision is expected to be made by Eastleigh Borough Council, but everything is held up by the Covid pandemic, and no date has been set. The council said: “We are awaiting amended information in support of the application. Once we have received this, we will undertake a full re-consultation on the proposed runway extension.”
Southampton, Exeter, Newquay and Belfast City are the main regional airports likely to have their demand cut by loss of Flybe
The collapse of Flybe, which lost money year after year even when given repeated cash injections, puts the jobs of around 2,000 staff at risk. Almost 1,000 staff are based at Flybe’s Exeter headquarters. Other jobs in the supply chain, in several regions, will also be at risk. It will have considerable impacts on many regional airports, for which Flybe was one of the main airlines. About 95% of the flights using Southampton airport were Flybe. (Southampton is planning to get its runway, currently 1,723 metres in length, extended by 170 metres, to get in more larger planes and more traffic). The airline industry – and still the UK government – are keen to insist we need “regional connectivity” by air. In reality, in a carbon-constrained world, many journeys that do not involve crossing sea, can be done by rail, coach or even by road, with much lower carbon emissions. Other airports that will be seriously affected by the loss of Flybe are Exeter and Newquay, where Flybe operated the majority of flights. Belfast City Airport had about 80% of its flights by Flybe. Blue Islands, the Flybe franchise partner operates flights linking the Channel Islands with Bristol, London City and Southampton, said it was continuing its flights.
Winchester City council makes U-turn over Southampton Airport expansion plans
By Sophie Day (Hampshire Chronicle)
1st Feb 2020
CITY council chiefs have made a U-turn on proposals to expand Southampton Airport. Members of Winchester City Council’s cabinet aired concerns for a bid to extend the runway by 164 metres and increase the number of flights by 18,000 per year. Councillors were told in 2018 the authority wrote “broadly welcoming” the proposals, but since the change of leadership there has been a change in stance. People are objecting due to the material considerations, of the expansion of the number of flights from 39,800 to 57,800 that would have a material adverse impact due to the noise. There would also be increased carbon emissions. “The minimal positive effect on the economic prosperity is far outweighed by the negative impact of the noise and the carbon.” Friends of the Earth, the Green Party and Extinction Rebellion have banded together to fight the plans. Calling themselves Airport eXpansion Opposition (AXO) they accept the need for a small regional airport, however, because of the climate crisis believes people must fly less.
Local campaigners, AXO, encourage local residents to respond to the Southampton airport expansion consultation
There is a planning application consultation by Southampton Airport, that closes on 23rd December. The airport has published plans for a 164-metre runway extension. The planning application, lodged with Eastleigh Borough Council, is the first phase of its growth set out in its “masterplan” which it charmingly calls (oxymoron) “A Vision For Sustainable Growth.” The application is likely to be considered by the council on 21st January 2020. Local opposition group, AXO (Airport Expansion Opposition) Southampton is urging people to read the application, and submit their comments. There are serious concerns about road congestion, and increases in air pollution – as well as the inevitable increase in noise. The longer runway would mean larger aircraft could use it. AXO warns that the application should not be decided before the CAA’s Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path. It also should not be decided until the government has finalised its Aviation Strategy, for all UK aviation, expected in early-mid 2020, when it has taken into account the new legal situation for aviation carbon emissions, with a net-zero target for 2050.
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.
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
Heathrow Airport Holdings has completed the sale of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.
December 18, 2014
The three airports have been sold to a consortium formed by Macquarie and Ferrovial. Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “This sale enables us to focus on improving Heathrow for passengers and winning support for Heathrow expansion.” Southampton Airport issued a statement this morning saying it was ‘very much business as usual’ under the new ownership. “We will still continue to operate independently as an airport under local management in a similar way to before. It is very much business as usual as we head into the busy Christmas period,” said MD Dave Lees. Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton are the last airports, outside Heathrow, owned by the former BAA after regulators forced the sale of Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh.
Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports sold to Ferrovial and Macquaire, by HAH, in £1bn deal
Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports have been sold by Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) in a £1 billion deal. All three will now be owned by a consortium formed by Spanish firm Ferrovial and Australia-based Macquarie, and managed locally. The sale is expected to be completed in January 2015. Ferrovial already part-owns Heathrow, and holds a 25% stake in HAH, which was previously known as BAA. So from January 2015, HAH will only operate Heathrow, while some years back it owned and ran seven airports. Heathrow itself is 25% owned by Ferrovial with other stakes controlled by investment vehicles from Qatar, Quebec, Singapore, the US, and China. (Nothing English). By passenger number in the UK, Glasgow ranks 8th, Aberdeen 14th and Southampton 18th. The airports are not anticipating any particular changes due to the sale. The uncertainty over ownership has not been helpful for the airports, but the investors will be wanting a return on their billion pounds.
Glasgow, Aberdeen & Southamptom Airports put up for sale by owners Heathrow Airport Holdings by end of 2014
July 31, 2014
Heathrow Airport Holdings want to complete the sale of the three airports by the end of the year. Key staff at Glasgow Airport were given the news at a briefing this afternoon. Spanish-owned BAA later issued a statement through Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd. “Over recent months Heathrow Airport Holdings group shareholders and management have been considering their strategic position in relation to our three airports, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton. As a result the group is now formally entering a sale process. Whilst there is currently no certainty that a sale will be concluded, the group intends to work towards completing a transaction by the end of the year.” BAA’s sold Edinburgh airport for £807 million in May 2012 to Global Infrastructure Partners. A Glasgow Airport source said: “The feeling here is that BAA need to raise cash to invest in Heathrow, but they are carrying too much debt.”
Noise pollution fears over plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway
March 14, 2014
Southampton Airport has plans for a 450 ft runway extension, that would enable larger and heavier planes to take off and land at the airport. However, this may not only increase the noise per plane, from heavier aircraft, but also the number of planes and passengers. Some local residents, living under flight paths, are concerned about the noise implications. A resident from Bitterne Park Residents’ Association, said she had only been told that the starter strip was to make taking off and landing safer at the terminal and questioned whether extending the runway was permitted. The airport’s managing director said of the runway extension: “We are talking about a starter strip adding up to 150 metres to the existing runway, which is currently just over 1,700 metres, so it would be under 10% longer. We would like to see this in the next 10 years and before a major new runway is built elsewhere in the south east. I would anticipate this could be within 5 to 10 years.” He said the investment in the extension “would not mean extra costs for passengers” and there would be no change to restrictions on operating hours at the airport.
Southampton airport planning runway extension for heavier planes to further away destinations
March 13, 2014
Southampton Airport plans to build a 450 ft (137 metres) runway extension. The airport says this would enable heavier planes, to further afield holiday destinations, like Greece, southern Italy, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. There would also be routes to eastern European countries, as there is a large Eastern European population in and around Southampton and Portsmouth. It the airport gets it way, it could have a “starter strip” at the northern end of the 1,723m runway in 5 years. That would make the total 1,860 metres. The airport hopes to increase its number of passengers from some 1.7 million in 2013 (much lower than the numbers for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) to 2.5 million by 2024. There are the usual wildly exaggerated claims of huge numbers of jobs – a doubling – with 1,000 new jobs claimed. In reality, low cost airlines add about 200 or less jobs per extra million passengers]. Southampton airport says there would be no increase in the size of aircraft but the extension would enable planes to take off carrying a heavier load of fuel, meaning longer flights. Local residents know these heavier planes would mean more noise. The airport claims it would “inject an extra £50 million into the local economy” – while in reality is will just be more cheap flights for those taking leisure money out of the UK to spend elsewhere.
Ferrovial makes bid to buy Aberdeen, Glasgow & Southampton airports – hoping to make more profit than at Heathrow
February 18, 2014
Ferrovial had made an offer – for an undisclosed amount – to buy Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports from its partners in Heathrow Airport Holdings. The price might be as much as £800 million. Ferrovial is the largest shareholder in Heathrow, with 25%. Heathrow Holdings has made it clear for sometime that it is eager to sell its other remaining airports. It is understood that Ferrovial is not making the offer in partnership with any other company, though some reports suggest that Australian infrastructure companies Macquarie and Industry Funds Management are also involved. It is not known if Ferrovial’s bid will be accepted. A Portuguese bank has valued the 3 airports at £952m using an equity value/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 12.3 times for Aberdeen and Glasgow and 10.7 times for Southampton. Ferrovial bought BAA in 2006 for £10.3bn. It has since offloaded Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh in order to lower its debt. Now it is keen to buy again. Ferrovial hopes UK regional airports will grow strongly for the next few years, if the UK economy starts to grow, as they have a large amount of unused capacity. By contrast, the CAA has limited the amount Heathrow can charge airlines for landing charges, so decreasing the return available from Heathrow.
Speculation that GIP, Ferrovial and MAG interested in buying Aberdeen Glasgow and/or Southampton airports
November 13, 2013 Sky News has learned “from banking sources” that various infrastructure investors are interested in buying Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports – amid expectations that their owner, Heathrow Holdings, will opt to sell them – to focus on its ownership of Heathrow. It is understood that Heathrow is considering a plan to offload, following a string of unsolicited approaches from prospective buyers. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) which owns Gatwick and City airports, has expressed an interest in buying Aberdeen airport, although it has not yet made a formal bid. A number of Heathrow’s shareholders and board members are said to be keen to dispose of the 3 regional airports but its board has not yet made a formal decision. Ferrovial now only owns 25% of Heathrow,and is reported as now likely to be interested in buying one or more of the airports, through a separate vehicle. MAG is also understood to want to buy one or more of them. Click here to view full story…
Scotsman speculates that Heathrow Holdings may sell Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airport to raise cash for Heathrow runway
November 4, 2013 The Scotsman speculates that Heathrow Holdings Ltd (aka BAA) is considering selling Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, for a figure in the range of £1 billion, so it can focus more on Heathrow and getting a third runway. Some 8 0 – 905 of its business comes from Heathrow. The Scotsman says it has learnt that Heathrow Airport Holdings has held talks with advisers with a view to seeking buyers. Ferrovial, which has reduced its stake in Heathrow to 25% since buying BAA in 2006, is thought to be considering a deal to buy out the other shareholders in the 3 regional airports. Heathrow Airports declined to comment, but analysts believe a decision to sell makes sense, particularly if the airport was to secure approval for the extra runway. The sale would help Heathrow raise capital for a new runway. The potential prices will depend on passenger numbers. It is speculated that Glasgow might sell for £600 million, and Aberdeen + Southampton might go for £450 – 500 million for the two. They are all thought to be marketable. Click here to view full story…
22.08.11 Eastern extend Southampton – Dijon flights
17.08.11 Eastern add Southampton – Aberdeen flights
13.06.11 Southampton Airport passengers down 1.1%
20.05.11 Five new summer routes for Southampton Airport
12.05.11 Southampton Airport passengers up 18.5%
04.05.11 Eastern Airways announce Southampton – Dijon flights
More services from Southampton to Europe’s oil capital, Aberdeen
David Lees new MD at Southampton airport, as Kevin Brown moves to Edinburgh
20th June 2010 David Lees has been appointed the new managing director of Southampton Airport, after three years working there. He will take on the role from July 31 and replaces the Kevin Brown, who is is currently managing director of Aberdeen and Southampton Airports. Kevin Brown now takes control of sister BAA airport Edinburgh. The move follows last month’s announcement that Gordon Dewar – current Edinburgh MP – is moving to be chief executive of Bahrain Airport. Click here to view full story…
Campaigners call on Southampton airport to soundproof 12,000 homes
01.11.09 New Durham Tees – Southampton route takes off
30.06.09 Concerns over Southampton Airport noise plans
22.06.09 Southampton Airport plan noise monitoring stations
20.06.09 Southampton Airport launches noise consultation
18.06.09 Eastern adds more Southampton – Aberdeen flights
04.06.09 Eastern to add early morning Southampton – Newcastle flight
Southampton Airport launches action plan to manage aircraft noise
18th June 2009 Southampton Airport has launched a 16 week public consultation on its proposed plans to continue managing aircraft noise impacts over the next 5 years, to 2015. The airport is seeking views on its draft Noise Action Plan until 2nd October 2009. The plan will then be reviewed and, “where possible, views and comments will be incorporated into the revised plan” which will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport by 30th November 2009. (BAA) Click here to view full story…
18.06.09 Eastern adds more Southampton – Aberdeen flights
04.06.09 Eastern to add early morning Southampton – Newcastle flight
21.12.08 Flybe wants Southampton Airport sale
18.06.08 Southampton Airport night flight plan blocked
A bid to introduce night flights at Southampton Airport has been blocked, but could lead to a daily 90-minute delay on the post.
As previously reported, Royal Mail submitted controversial proposals for an aircraft to fly into Southampton every weekday at 02:30. They wanted to divert its regular Bournemouth Airport service to Southampton for six months from next month whilst work is carried out on Bournemouth’s runway.
Southampton Airport dismissed the request and last night it was also unanimously turned down by Eastleigh borough councillors. Royal Mail has, however, warned that if it cannot fly mail into the region each night, the south will have to accept postal deliveries from the north will arrive an hour-and-a-half later each day. (UK Airport News)
30.05.08 Eastern add Southampton – France flight for Le Mans fans
21.05.08 Flybe double capacity on Inverness – Manchester / Southampton routes
20.05.08 Southampton Airport ground city balloon plans
13.05.08 Flybe axe UK – Ireland routes
10.05.08 Flybe Inverness flights take off
21.03.08 Eastern lowers Southampton fares
29.02.08 Flybe boosts Southampton – Bergerac service
24.02.08 BAA in £1bn regional airports fundraising
22.02.08 Eastern announce lower fares on new routes
02.02.08 Expansion for Eastern Airways at Aberdeen and Newcastle
27.11.07 New Inverness routes to Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter and Southamptobn for Flybe
23.11.07 Anger over south coast flight path plans
18.10.07 Eastern announce French route from Southampton Airport
15.10.07 Southampton Airport ‘key part’ of city’s success
14.06.07 bmi consider Southampton – Manchester flights
13.06.07 Flybe add Southampton – Manchester flights