Airport Operator Magazine - Spring

Construction of Southampton Airport’s 164m extension to the northern end of its runway began on 3 April.

Taking place at night to avoid any disruption to flight operations, the works are expected to be completed around 17 August. The extension will allow the airport to attract new airlines and offer new routes and has been described by the owner, AGS Airports, as a guarantee of the airport’s viability.

Speaking to The Airport Operator, Andy Cliffe, who succeeded Derek Provan as CEO of AGS Airports in January, said that the extension will enable Southampton Airport to accommodate different aircraft that could fly further. He forecast that by next year Southampton would be offering a broader range of both summer sun destinations and regional flights.

Like other UK airports, he said, AGS had experienced “a pretty torrid time” during the pandemic, “but the resilience of the team, of the organisation, I think is remarkable and there is a future-focussed drive now to move on out of Covid, to leave that behind and to start to rebuild the business. As a team they had a very strong summer last year. My impression is of an organisation 
that is very well-run and so a great platform to build from, as we look ahead”.

As examples of the Group’s future focus, Cliffe referenced three innovative projects that are all 
making good progress. The first is the ground-breaking partnership between AGS Airports and ZeroAvia, the leader in developing zero-emission solutions for commercial aviation. The two companies are exploring the development of hydrogen fuel infrastructure, regulatory framework requirements and resourcing required for delivering zero-emission flights. As a regional group serving the Highlands and Islands of Scotland as well as the Channel Islands from Southampton, 
AGS is seen as a good testbed for short-haul hydrogen flights.

Full Article on Pages 5 - 7