Southampton airport is aiming to more than double passenger numbers while targeting 15 new routes over the next 20 years.
The airport set out its ambitious expansion drive in a masterplan, detailing its long-term vision for growth through 2037.
Key objectives include extending the airport’s runway while adding new taxiways, aircraft stands and more parking spaces.
These infrastructure improvements, which also include expanding the airport’s main terminal, will accommodate a proposed increase in aircraft movements of around 50% from 39,300 last year to 57,800 by 2037.
Passenger numbers are forecast to increase from 2.1 million last year to approximately five million over the same period.
Southampton says the expansion will support more than 1,500 new jobs and contribute around £400 million a year to the local economy by the time the works are complete.
Its proposals have been put out to a six-week public consultation, starting Wednesday (September 19). The airport’s previous masterplan was drawn up in 2006.
Neil Garwood, Southampton airport managing director, said: “Southampton has one of the shortest runways in the UK and is unable to provide the same breadth of European air services other regional airports can offer. We are therefore keen to address this to allow us to provide an enhanced choice of air services to European destinations for our customers and the region as a whole.”
Southampton airport currently hosts 10 airlines and tour operators flying to 41 destinations across 14 countries.
The top 10 in terms of passenger numbers last year were Edinburgh, Manchester, Amsterdam Schiphol, Glasgow, Jersey, Guernsey, Dublin, Belfast City, Newcastle and Paris.
While the masterplan cites “considerable potential” to grow these routes, the airport has drawn up a wishlist of an additional 15 European routes with an estimated combined passenger demand of two million a year.
These include Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Madrid, Berlin, Copenhagen, Venice and Prague.