Southampton Airport News


Some recent news about Southampton Airport:

Appeal by Southampton campaigners, against runway extension, refused by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has refused an appeal by a local campaign group, GOESA Ltd (Group opposed to expansion of Southampton Airport), upholding the decision by Eastleigh Borough Council that the Southampton Airport runway can be lengthened by 164 metres.  An associated blast screen and an expansion of the current long-stay car park are also part of the approved scheme. It is now over 18 months after the runway extension was first approved by the council.  In August 2021, campaigners from the Airport Expansion Opposition Southampton group challenged the planning permission in court over concerns that the proposal would increase noise, traffic, pollution and carbon emissions. The High Court rejected the claim. In December 2021, the application was renewed and the campaigners were granted a judicial review. The campaigners argued that the decision to extend the runway was “unlawful” as it was rushed, and skipped essential assessments and formalities. In May 2022 the High Court rejected the JR and ruled that the approval had not been unlawful. Campaigners appealed against this decision. That has now been rejected. There are no further legal options.  It is totally at variance with the rapid action needed in the next few years, to cut the UK’s carbon emissions.

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Mr Justice Holgate has refused permission for JR of Southampton airport expansion

Southampton Airport won planning permission to extend its runway in April. Now a High Court judge, Mr Justice Holgate, has dismissed campaigners’ claims that the planned extension of Southampton Airport’s runway would be unlawful.  GOESA Ltd (Group Opposed to the Expansion of Southampton Airport) was set up after Eastleigh Borough Council gave permission to extend the runway by 164m (538ft) in April 2021. It said the council was wrong to approve it and in justifying it.  But now Mr Justice Holgate declined the group’s claim for a judicial review. If the runway is extended, the airport will be able to handle larger planes, carrying more passengers – the type of planes used by EasyJet or Ryanair to take people on sunshine holidays to Mediterranean beaches and European short breaks. If GOESA does not appeal, then the runway construction can begin. The airport would likely start that next winter, to be ready for the 2023 season.

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Judge Holgate’s decision on legality of Southampton Airport runway extension approval expected soon

A High Court ruling, by Justice Holgate, on whether the decision by Eastleigh Borough Council to grant planning permission for the 163 metre extension of the runway at Southampton Airport was unlawful is expected in the coming days.  In April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council voted to approve planning permission for the scheme. Then this was followed in July 2021 by a judicial review (JR) claim filed by GOESA Ltd – the local opposition group.  They say the decision should have been called in, for decision by the Secretary of State, and that Southampton Airport has greatly overstated the economic benefits of the expansion and underplayed the environmental impacts.  Following an oral hearing in December, permission was granted for a JR, and this was finally heard on April 27 and 28, with Justice Holgate presiding over the case. The review considered the environmental impacts of the scheme, legal and planning issues and whether the plan should have been called in. The judge said a confidential draft of his decision would be circulated to the QCs and their legal teams in the coming days, with a final version to be made public shortly after.

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Southampton Airport runway extension decision set for judicial review

The residents group, GOESA Ltd, that has been challenging plans to extend the runway at Southampton Airport, have won the right to take the matter to judicial review (JR). The judicial review will take place in the New Year, submitting evidence to the High Court, but the date is not yet known. GOESA Ltd is crowdfunding to raise the money for the legal costs. The plans to extend the runway by 164m (538ft) were approved by Eastleigh Borough Council in April. Initially campaigners against the plans had their request for a JR refused by the High Court, but that has now been overturned. Rowan Smith, the group’s solicitor, said: “They will now have another opportunity to convince the court that permission for an expanded Southampton Airport was unlawfully granted and should be reversed.” The airport claims all sorts of economic benefits from the runway extension.  The leader of Eastleigh Borough Council hopes the legal processes can happen quickly, so the airport can proceed quickly with its plans, which he claims are good for the regional economy….

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Campaigners remain confident after Southampton Airport legal challenge refused

Campaigners against Southampton Airport’s runway extension say they remain confident after a legal challenge was refused. GOESA Ltd, a company set up by those opposed to Southampton Airport’s runway extension, submitted an application to the High Court for a judicial review in July this year.  This came after Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) granted planning permission for the airport extension which proved controversial during the consultation process.  An online fundraising page was set up to fund the review which raised over £60,000, but now, EBC has said that the High Court has refused the review of planning permission.  Despite this though, GOESA Ltd has said that this is “not the end” and say that there are still chances to appeal this. They have to decide within the next seven days, whether they apply to have the matter renewed in open court. They are taking legal advice and that will be decided in the next few days. There is another stage in the appeal process. A second application for a judicial review was also made by Bournemouth Airport Ltd, but this has also been refused.

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Legal challenge puts Southampton Airport expansion on ice

August 11th 2021

Southampton Airport’s runway expansion plans have been put on ice after a legal challenge to the proposals has been given a hearing at the High Court. Campaign group GEOSA Ltd has been granted a judicial review into the decision by Eastleigh Borough Council to approve the runway extension in April. The Southampton Airport plans would see a 164m runway extension built as well as a new 600-space car park and the erection of a blast screen to the north of the new extension. The council approved the plans by 22 votes to 13. Campaigners have long called for the runway extension decision to be independently reviewed, and claim that increased aircraft noise would impact people living outside the Eastleigh village. Opponents of Southampton Airport expansion have instructed a legal team led by Leigh Day and David Wolfe QC to pursue the case and have crowdfunded £20,000 and have received £35,000 in direct donations to help pay for the judicial review.

Southampton legal challenge against airport decision by Eastleigh Borough Council

The local campaign against the expansion of Southampton airport, AXO, has now decided to make a legal challenge against Eastleigh Borough Council, and their decision to allow extension of the runway.  That extension would have the effect of increasing the number of flights using the airport, and allow flights to more distant destinations – increasing the overall carbon emissions.  Decisions such as these, resulting in more climate heating, need full scrutiny and that can now only happen by Judicial Review. The opponents of Southampton Airport expansion have instructed a legal team led by Leigh Day and David Wolfe QC to pursue the case, and are launching a public appeal for money to help finance the action.  AXO believe strongly that the council’s decision was wrong both in the way it was taken and the arguments to justify it. The airport has greatly overstated the economic benefits of expansion, which will adversely affect the quality of lives of around 46,000 residents, whilst hugely underplaying the environmental impact. Hence they are calling for the decision to undergo independent scrutiny. There is a crowdfunder, to raise £10,000, to help pay the legal costs.

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Eastleigh BC confirms its decision to allow Southampton airport 164 metre runway extension

Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) has confirmed, on 3rd June, its decision to permit Southampton airport’s 164 metre runway extension. The PCU (Planning Casework Unit at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) had an informal agreement with Eastleigh to hold off on the decision while the Sec of State, Robert Jenrick, considered the call in request. The PCU said the planning permission would not be issued until the S106 Legal Agreement was completed. On 14 May EBC told the PCU that they had completed the S106 and would grant permission at the end of May unless they heard back to the contrary, from the PCU … which they didn’t. It is now too late for the application to be called in. Extinction Rebellion Southampton said the Secretary of State must be held to account for his failure to act on climate grounds.  Work on the runway extension could start later this summer. Campaigners have not confirmed whether they will challenge the final decision.

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New NEF report shows the climate impact of regional airport plans has been considerably underestimated

See original image in the Guardian article here

For UK to properly take account of the overall climate impact of UK aviation – it needs to consider the emissions from departing AND arriving flights (it currently ignores arriving flights). And also the non-CO2 impacts on climate. Maximum impact is multiplier of x3 (shown here). The multiplier could be x2.

A report by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) says the climate impact of expansion plans at regional airports in England has been dramatically underestimated and would threaten the UK’s legally binding climate commitments.  NEF calculated that proposals to expand 4 airports (Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Southampton and Stansted) will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions up to 8 times higher than the airports previously claimed. This means the alleged economic benefits claimed, from more aviation, were overestimated, as they ignore around £13.4bn worth of climate damage the extra flights could cause. Alex Chapman, the author of the report, said the findings raised concerns about the level of scrutiny the airport expansion proposals had received from government. Alex said: “The secretary of state should step in and conduct an independent review of all four of these proposals and their compatibility with the UK’s climate targets.”  The airports all use unproven and undeveloped technologies to achieve future fuel-efficiency savings. Most airports only took account of CO2 of outbound flights, not of inbound flights, and ignored the non-CO2 impacts of flights.

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Southampton Airport update – Eastleigh Council waiting to see if the airport application will be called in

16 April 2021

Following Eastleigh Full Council’s resolution to grant planning permission on 10 April for the runway extension at Southampton International Airport, over the next month officers will be working with the applicant on the drafting of a detailed S106 Legal Agreement to secure strategies and mitigation as set out in the within the committee report. The planning permission will not be issued until the S106 Legal Agreement is completed.

The Planning Casework Unit (PCU) at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have advised that they have received several requests for the Secretary of State to consider call-in of this planning application. Officers within the PCU have asked the Council whether we would voluntary agree to not issue the Decision Notice until the Secretary of State has assessed the case and decided whether or not to call in the application for a public inquiry.

The completion of the S106 Legal Agreement will not be completed until the middle of May and as such the Council have agreed to this informal request.

Southampton Airport runway extension plans approved by Eastleigh Council

Eastleigh Borough Council has voted (finally at 2.15am!) to agree to allow Southampton Airport to extend its runway by 164 metres. This will lead to larger planes using the airport, and thus flights to more distant destinations, more passengers and higher carbon emissions. 22 councillors voted in favour of the proposals; 13 councillors voted against the plans and 1 abstained.This followed 19 hours of debate. Opponents have fought against the plans not only due to the carbon emissions, but also the extra noise for surrounding areas, and air pollution.  The standard justification for these expansions are local economic benefit, and more jobs – even though the net impact is to encourage more local people to fly abroad on holiday, spending their holiday money there.  It is likely that the number of people affected by noise would go from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033, if the expansion happens.  Officers hoped that increased home noise insulation would help, but that has no impact if windows are open, or when outdoors. There are claims of “1,000 new jobs” – based on experience at other airports, that is very unlikely indeed. The CCC advice is that there should be no net airport expansion; so if one expands, another should contract.  Likely?

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Southampton Airport runway decision put back to 8th April after rejection by Eastleigh’s Local Area Committee

Plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway have been rejected by Eastleigh’s Local Area Committee, which voted 5 to 3 against the 164m (538ft) extension – which would allow longer-haul flights (and so increase carbon emissions). The matter will now go to a full council meeting on 8 April where the proposals will finally be decided. Eastleigh planning officers recommended to approve the expansion, despite finding the number of people affected by airport noise would go up from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033.  One councillor said: “It’s a matter of balance, it’s balancing the economy, jobs, the future of our planet.”  Another said: “By refusing this application we will not be closing the airport. By voting for refusal we are simply stopping the dramatic impact on carbon emissions.” Campaigners – including naturalist Chris Packham – had objected to the expansion since it was officially proposed in 2019 and there have since been four public consultations.  Local authorities, including Southampton and Winchester city councils, Test Valley Borough Council, four parish councils, as well as Bournemouth Airport, Southern Gas Networks and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, all objected to the plans on the grounds of noise and climate change.

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Southampton Airport expansion recommended for approval by Eastleigh Council – meeting will be 25th March

18.3.2021  (BBC)

Plans to lengthen the runway at Southampton Airport have been recommended for approval by council officers.  The airport wants to extend the runway by 164m (538ft) to facilitate the use of larger planes for holiday flights.   It has said it is “critical to the airport’s survival” and refusal would put more than 2,000 jobs at risk.  [That claim, of course, needs to be taken with a big pinch of salt].   Eastleigh Borough Council officers recommended councillors approve the plans at a meeting on 25 March 2021.  However, council officers said planning permission would be subject to several conditions, which include restrictions on night-time flying, air quality and noise monitoring, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.  The council said the project was “inevitably controversial” and said officers had “carefully considered” the “high numbers of comments received both in favour and against”.   Southampton City Council and local campaigners have previously objected on the grounds of climate change and noise. Action group Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) previously said more than 60,000 people would be exposed to increased noise from flights.


Eastleigh Council may make decision on Southampton runway extension in March

A final decision by Eastleigh Council, on plans to lengthen the runway by 164 metres (538ft)  at Southampton Airport, could be made by March. The aim is to be able to accommodate larger planes, such as A320s and Boeing 737s for yet more holiday flights, to yet more destinations.  The airport said it expects “to submit additional information regarding its runway extension application to Eastleigh Borough Council later this month. A new public consultation will then follow.”  A council decision, after the consultation, could be by mid-March. Opponents are very aware that the extension will negatively impact the area due to increased noise, and there will be increased carbon emissions. At the start of December 2020 Southampton City Council objected to the proposals on the grounds of noise and climate change.  The airport had around 1.78 million passengers in 2019 (barely higher than in 2009, though the peak was around 2 million in 2017. It hopes to get 3 million annual passengers by 2033.

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Southampton City Council objects to latest plans by Southampton airport – Eastleigh BC to consider on 17th December

Southampton City Council has objected to revised plans to expand the runway at Southampton airport by 164 metres (538 ft), in order to increase the number of flights and size of planes.  The council voted to oppose the scheme on the grounds of climate change and noise levels.  The city council had previously voted to oppose the airport’s original plans in January. The airport was asked to amend the proposals and Southampton council was asked to confirm its position before a final decision is taken by councillors in Eastleigh – where the airport is located. The latest plans have a few small noise modifications.  Lyn Bryshaw, from the Airport Expansion Opposition group told the online council meeting the development would “cause huge harm to the environment and local people  …The economic benefits for Southampton and the region have been overstated and no evidence at all has been presented to suggest that the airport would go out of business without the extension.” A decision on planning permission is due to be made on 17 December, by Eastleigh Borough Council.

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Southampton Airport extended runway plans to be debated on 17th December

Plans to expand Southampton Airport runway will be considered by Eastleigh Council on 17th December. The airport wants to extend its runway by 164m (538ft) and extend the existing long stay car park to provide an additional 600 spaces. The proposals will be scrutinised at a special meeting of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee. The airport has recently submitted more details of the plans to the council. These include the possibility for the authority to propose a maximum noise cap on the airport. Local opposition group Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) continue to campaign against the plans. As well as the carbon emissions, they fear that new government policy could mean that there would be no noise cap in the future. The airport claims the longer runway is necessary, to keep airport staff employed, as the longer runway would allow larger Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 planes, for holiday destinations in southern Europe. The airport hopes the extended runway could be ready by 2022.  The public consultation will close on November 15. Nearby Winchester Council has said it is still likely to object to the plans, and the recently updated information do not overcome their concerns about the noise impact.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.


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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

12.04.11 Passengers down 8.7% at Southampton Airport
08.04.11 Southampton Airport targets business passengers

11.03.11 Flybe announce Southampton – Beziers flights
Flybe release popular winter flights

15.02.11 Southampton Airport passengers up 4.8%
13.01.11 Southampton Airport passengers down 22%

More services from Southampton to Europe’s oil capital, Aberdeen

16.8.2011 (BAA)   Eastern Airways is introducing additional non-stop direct flights from Southampton Airport to Aberdeen. Eastern, which is the UK’s 2nd largest regional airline, wwill increase non-stop flights from two to three each weekday in both directions from 5 September 2011.  Weekday flights will leave Southampton at 6.50am (Monday only), 9.05am (Tue-Fri), 11.20  (Monday only), 2.10pm (Tue-Thu), 4.35pm (Friday only) and 6.45pm (Mon-Thu). From Aberdeen weekday flights will depart at 6.50am (Tue-Fri), 9.05am (Monday only), 11.50 (Tue-Thu), 2.15pm (Friday only), 4.30pm (Mon-Thu) and 6.55pm (Friday only). A Sunday service will also continue to be offered to Aberdeen from Southampton.   Link to article

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

16th December 2009     Environmental campaigners have called for Southampton Airport to soundproof the homes of almost 12,000 Hampshire residents. They claim noise from aircraft could be affecting the health of residents living nearby. Environmental Protection UK also says 7 local schools under the flight path should be provided with sound proof glazing. Southampton is one of the few English airports that does not have a Sound Insulation Grant Scheme. (Echo)     Click here to view full story…
04.12.09 £2.9m boost for Southampton Airport train station
13.11.09 Southampton Airport to get £7m investment
01.11.09 New Durham Tees – Southampton route takes off
09.10.09 Eastern to launch Southampton – Durham Tees flights
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

10.03.09 Southampton Airport passengers down 20%

17.02.09 Protest at Southampton Airport
09.02.09 Eastern announce Leeds Bradford – Southampton flight

21.12.08 Flybe wants Southampton Airport sale

20.11.08 South coast airports suffer flights decline

30.10.08 Award for Southampton Airport
11.10.08 Flybe announce new Southampton flights

28.09.08 Two new ski routes for Southampton Airport
02.07.08 Southampton Airport ambassadors

29.06.08 Blue Islands add Southampton – Guernsey flights

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)

13.06.08 Protests over Royal Mail Southampton Airport night flight plans
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

27.01.08 Aurigny blames Flybe for its failure to launch Guernsey – Southampton flights
15.01.08 Record year for Southampton Airport

 28.11.07 Flybe add three new routes at Southampton Airport – Aberdeen, Inverness and Newquay
27.11.07 New Inverness routes to Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter and Southamptobn for Flybe
23.11.07 Anger over south coast flight path plans
21.10.07 Flybe puts summer 2008 flights on sale from Exeter and Southampton
18.10.07 Eastern announce French route from Southampton Airport
15.10.07 Southampton Airport ‘key part’ of city’s success
16.07.07 Strong six months at Southampton Airport
04.07.07 Flybe adds eight new routes for winter
22.06.07 Blue Islands announce new Southampton – Guernsey flights
14.06.07 bmi consider Southampton – Manchester flights
13.06.07 Flybe add Southampton – Manchester flights
23.05.07 Flybe and Ryanair battle again at south coast airports
20.05.07 New airline flying Southampton to Guernsey
16.05.07 Inghams / Flybe launch Southampton – Verona flights