A ground-breaking ceremony was also held to mark the project’s milestone and the official start of construction works on the runway.
The 164m extension to the northern end of Southampton’s runway will attract new airlines and create new airways. It will also generate opportunities for business and leisure, as well as increase the viability of the airport.
The project received planning approval from Eastleigh Borough Council in April 2021. The runway scheme saw Eastleigh Borough Council undertake four extensive public consultations prior to receiving approval.
Eastleigh parliament member Paul Holmes said: “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.
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“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.”
The construction works are expected to complete on or around 17 August this year.
Southampton Airport operations director Steve Szalay said: “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.”
By 2027, the project is expected to generate an additional economic growth of 2.8% in the Solent LEP area.
In December 2022, the National Highways selected VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver improvements to Junction 9 of the M3 motorway in the UK.