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Petition Launched over Runway Extension Plans

Eastleigh Local Area Committee has voted against plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway.

The plan submitted to the council was to extend the current runway by 164 metres – a move meant to entice new airlines to the airport after the collapse of Flybe.

Flybe accounted for 89% of all of Southampton Airport’s passengers, leading the company to attempt to branch out. The airport released a statement about the lasting effects of the collapse and the Coronavirus pandemic, claiming that “the future of Southampton Airport is in doubt.

“The airport’s runway length is no longer suitable for today’s modern airline fleets, and so there is an urgent and pressing need to attract new airlines to the airport.”

The proposed plans would remain within the current boundaries of the airport yet came under fire from climate activists. Extinction Rebellion member James Miller argued that the extension would “contribute to climate change” and “more air pollution [that] will affect local health and mortality rates.”

But Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes is still fighting for the plans to go ahead, launching a petition titled “Save Southampton Airport”. The petition has received over 2000 signatures at the time of writing, and Mr Holmes took to twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the Eastleigh local Area Committee, tweeting:

“Worth noting that the public back the runway extension

@SOU_Airport

 by a margin of 60% to 40%.

Disappointing to see Cllrs go against the public and the Council’s own technical experts, who recommended approval.” -@pauljholmes

The MP is now asking the council to listen to the people who have signed the petition and grant permission for the runway extension plans to go ahead.

The final decision will be made at the council meeting of Eastleigh Borough Concil on the 8th of April.

Header Image: Oliver McLennan

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