News that Southampton Airport can push ahead with plans to extend its runway has been warmly welcomed by Business South.

Many Champions wrote in support of the plans that will see the runway extended by 164m and supported the business case for the airport.

Welcoming the Court’s decision, which found that Eastleigh Borough Council’s approval of the crucial plans to extend the northern end of our runway was lawful, Fran Collins, Chair of Business South’s Maritime & Transport Action Group, said: “The expansion of Southampton Airport will help to significantly improve connectivity across the Central South region – whether that’s for residents looking to travel out of the region, supporting businesses or for holiday makers and cruise passengers coming into the area. The marine and transport sectors bring significant economic benefits to the Central South and this expansion will further support the region’s future growth.”

Commenting on the decision, a spokesperson for Southampton Airport, said: “The Court’s judgement is an exciting step forward for Southampton Airport, as it will allow us to progress our much-needed runway plans, provide certainty to our staff, and play a full part in the emerging Solent Freeport.

“The extension will secure the airport’s long-term viability and deliver significant economic benefits to the region, not least the creation of much-needed new jobs, including employment opportunities during the construction phase.

“We would like to thank all those who have supported our runway plans over the last few years, particularly the residents and businesses who registered their support during the planning process. We appreciate, however, that some of our neighbours have concerns regarding noise and the environment. As an airport, we want to work with residents and stakeholders to manage and mitigate these concerns going forward.”