Regional leaders join airport team at event to mark the start of £17m construction on transformational runway extension.
To mark the start of VolkerFitzpatrick’s construction process for Southampton Airport’s runway extension, a ground-breaking event took place on 31 March between the airport’s leadership and senior local politicians.
Ahead of this £17m investment in the South’s economy, VolkerFitzpatrick's managing director, James Hindes, and key team members, broke ground on the extension site. They were joined on the airfield by the airport’s operations director Steve Szalay and head of planning and development Steve Thurston, as well as Paul Holmes, member of parliament for Eastleigh and Councillor Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council.
Approved by Eastleigh Borough Council in April 2021, the 164m extension to the northern end of Southampton’s runway will allow the airport to attract new airlines and offer new routes, creating exciting opportunities for business and leisure, while guaranteeing the airport’s viability.
After close engagement with neighbours and Eastleigh Borough Council, the airport will begin construction of the runway extension from 3 April. These works will take place at night, to avoid any disruption to flight operations, and should be concluded in August.
Breaking ground on the runway extension, James Hindes, VolkerFitzpatrick’s managing director stated: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Southampton Airport. VolkerFitzpatrick provides a wide range of airport infrastructure works and our experienced project team is looking forward to expanding and future-proofing the runway at Southampton Airport."
Steve Szalay, operations director at Southampton Airport, stated: “I’m delighted to welcome James, Paul and Keith to the airport to mark the start of our runway construction. The extension represents an exciting, £17m investment into the South’s economy, will help safeguard our region’s connectivity, and protect thousands of jobs connected to our operations. I want to thank everyone in the community who supported these plans, which will unlock major economic development in Eastleigh.”
Paul Holmes, member of parliament for Eastleigh, stated: “Expanding the airport is a project with widespread community support, and will bring greater regional connectivity and unlock Eastleigh's economic potential, especially now that Solent Freeport has been announced. I have been passionate about seeing this important development through since I was elected, and I am pleased it is finally progressing. The works will secure 2,000 jobs and will cement Southampton Airport’s status as a viable regional alternative to the main airports in and around London and will undoubtedly help to regenerate the town of Eastleigh.”
Councillor Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, stated: "Eastleigh Borough Council has a 30-year record of recognising the importance of Southampton Airport to our regional economy. The short new start-up strip will secure the airport for the future.”
In March, VolkerFitzpatrick invited local neighbours living close to the runway were to a Neighbour Engagement Event, where they heard more about the plans for the construction works, including working hours and measures to minimise disruption. These neighbours were provided with details of an App, enabling them to ask questions and raise queries.
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