By Edward Robertson
Southampton Airport has won permission to extend its runway by 164m.
The extension at the north end of the runway would bring the total length up to 1,887m and allow the airport to operate flights for aircraft with a greater range.
The approval for the controversial plan was granted by Eastleigh Borough Council following a 19-hour debate and opposition groups have pledged to consider their next moves.
Southampton Airport operations director, Steve Szalay, said: “This is the news we have been hoping for and working so hard to achieve.
“By listening to the overwhelming public and business support, as well as the planning officer’s recommendation to approve, the councillors have safeguarded the future of the airport.
“The decision also ensures we are well placed to provide employment and support the region as we seek to recover post pandemic.
“We are excited about our future. This positive decision allows us to further develop our plans, play a full part in the Solent Freeport and deliver on our commitments set out within the planning application, which will further enrich our neighbouring communities.
“Thank you to everyone who has engaged with the consultations and shared their thoughts and opinions. We listened and reflected your feedback within our plans. You have helped shape the future of Southampton Airport.
“We appreciate that some of our neighbours have concerns regarding noise and the environment. Please be assured that we want to work with residents to mitigate these issues going forward.”