A small but ambitious airport on England’s south coast wants new routes and a major capacity boost.
Southampton Airport on England’s southern coast is aiming to more than double passenger numbers while targeting 15 new routes over the next 20 years, TTG reports, including links with Copenhagen and Stockholm.
The airport has laid out its ambitious expansion drive in a masterplan, detailing a long-term vision for growth up until 2037. Key objectives include extending the airport’s runway while adding new taxiways, aircraft stands and more parking spaces.
These infrastructure improvements, which also include expanding the main terminal, will bring a proposed increase in aircraft movements of around 50% from 39,300 last year to 57,800 by 2037.
The airport wants to boost passenger numbers over the same period from 2.1 million last year to around five million.
Southampton Airport currently hosts 10 airlines and tour operators flying to more than 40 destinations in 14 countries. The top 10 in terms of passenger numbers in 2017 were Amsterdam Schiphol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow, Jersey, Dublin, Newcastle, Belfast, Guernsey and Paris.
While citing “considerable potential” to increase these routes, the masterplan also draws up a wishlist of an additional 15 European routes with an estimated combined passenger demand of two million a year. These include Stockholm and Copenhagen as well as Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Frankfurt, Madrid, Berlin, Venice and Prague.
The proposals, which update the airport’s previous masterplan drawn up in 2006, are being given a six-week public consultation.
“Southampton has one of the shortest runways in the UK and is unable to provide the same breadth of European air services other regional airports can offer,” said Neil Garwood, the airport’s managing director.
“We are therefore keen to address this to allow us to provide an enhanced choice of air services to European destinations for our customers and the region as a whole.”
Although it is only the 18th busiest airport in the UK, in 2016 it won the Airport of the Year award from the European Regional Airlines Association, having demonstrated “extraordinary involvement with the local community and reducing its carbon footprint, whilst growing and expanding in a highly competitive market.”