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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006, 13:29 GMT
Airport unveils expansion plans
Southampton airport
A second terminal could be added to Southampton Airport
A long-term strategy for Southampton Airport will see passenger numbers quadruple over the next 25 years.

On Thursday, the Eastleigh-based airport unveiled its master plan to meet a predicted growth in demand for regional air travel.

The plan includes the creation of more than 2,000 new jobs by 2030 and the possibility of a second terminal on the north-east side of the airfield.

But John Denham MP said the plan was "unsustainable in environmental terms".

According to the plan, passenger numbers will grow from 1.8 million last year to three million in 2015 and six million in 2030.

The quality of life for local residents should improve year on year
John Denham MP

By 2030 the airport hopes to generate 4,009 jobs contributing an estimated 260m to the local economy, up from the current 86m.

The plan has received the backing of the Southampton and Fareham Chamber of Commerce, whose director general Jimmy Chestnutt called it a "key regional transport and economic driver".

Peter Dean, managing director of the Hampshire Economic Partnership, added: "the growth of Southampton Airport will provide continued and improved air links with British and European cities, which will be to the advantage of Hampshire businesses."

'Foolhardy plan'

But Mr Denham, MP for Southampton Itchen, said the detrimental effects of the airport to local residential areas had "already reached an unacceptable level".

He added: "There is no doubt that Southampton Airport has made a major contribution to the economy of south Hampshire.

"However, the impact of the airport expansion has generated more concern than any other single constituency issue over the past ten years.

"It seems foolhardy to plan for an expansion in activities that are almost certain to be constrained by future environmental policies."

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