The runway expansion project has officially begun at Southampton Airport in the UK. Eastleigh Borough Council approved a plan to build a blast wall north of the runway extension in April 2021. The project would also lengthen it by 164 meters and add 600 parking spaces. The project is deemed “absolutely critical” to the airport’s continued operation.
The council’s own Local Area Committee initially voted against the plan. However, two weeks later, the full council overturned that decision. This raised questions about the validity of the decision.
Campaigners opposed to the project were granted a judicial review. The review was heard in April of last year. They argued that because the go-ahead was given before the secretary of state for Housing, Communities, and Local Government had enough time to decide whether to request a public inquiry, the council’s decision to approve the works was “unlawfully granted.” But in the end, the High Court judge dismissed the case, ruling that there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant a hearing.
Read Also: Refurbishment work starts on Chepstow Viaduct bridge in UK
The expansion project at Southampton Airport in the UK
The ground-breaking ceremony for the extension took place on March 31, 2023. It was attended by senior local politicians as well as airport management and this week marked the official start of construction on site. However, all activities will be taking place overnight to prevent affecting flights. The expansion project at Southampton Airport is anticipated to be finished in August.
Residents who live close to the runway were invited to a neighbor engagement event in March by Volker Fitzpatrick. They learned more about the plans for the construction works. This includes working hours and steps to minimize disruption. Furthermore, information about a mobile phone app that enables residents to post questions and concerns was given to the residents.
“We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Southampton Airport,” said James Hindes, managing director of VolkerFitzpatrick. “The experienced project team at VolkerFitzpatrick is eager to extend and upgrade Southampton Airport’s runway. It is part of our broad range of airport infrastructure work.”