Last month marked the official opening of the 164m extension to Southampton Airport’s runway. As part of AGS Airports’ £17 million redevelopment project, the airport now has the capacity to handle larger, traditional short-haul aircraft such as the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, providing the opportunity for airlines to operate to new destinations, which is great news for passengers and exciting for us in the control tower.

There was a Spitfire display to celebrate the occasion.

Group Customer Account Manager Chris Myers says:

“This is great news for the airport and owners AGS Airports, who are to be congratulated for all their hard work and determination to deliver this important project. As General Manager at the time the plans were being developed, I know how much work and consultation has taken place. The £17 million investment demonstrates the commitment by the airport to grow the business and improve the infrastructure.”

Undertaking the Project

Any work on airports can cause complication to an already complex operation, and the construction on the runway is no exception. During the project, which began construction back in April 2023, work had to take place overnight whilst the airport was closed and must be completed in time for the runway to be usable in time for the first aircraft movements in the morning. This tight timetable ensured that disrupting daytime flights was avoided and the work of our controllers was as uninterrupted as possible despite the 43,000 hours of construction.

Not only does the extra 164m on the runway allow more possibilities in regards to aircraft, but it also enhances safety when aircraft are in performance limiting conditions, like in low visibility. Additionally, the increased runway length may increase the time an aircraft is on the runway prior to departure, but that’s a procedure that our controllers are well trained and familiar with.

Congratulations to the whole team at Southampton on such a successful project. It will be great to see bigger aircraft operating here and more passengers passing through the terminal. 


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