ACADEMIC experts from University of Southampton have voiced their concerns over the Southampton Airport expansion.

It comes with less than a week to go until the public will no longer be able to comment on the application to construct a 164-metre runway extension.

Plans submitted by the airport proposed they want to extend the runway at the northern end of the existing runway by 164 metres, add an associated blast screen to the north of the proposed runway extension and provide an additional 600 spaces to the existing long stay car park to the east and west of Mitchell Way.

As previously reported, campaigners raised concerns over the impact the expansion would have on noise, air pollution and the environment.

Now, university experts have shared their shock over its "negative impacts".

Professor Felix Eigenbrod, a geographer at the University of Southampton, said: “The negative impacts – particularly noise – are much worse than I feared, and the economic case for the airport much weaker than I thought.

"I find it hard to understand how there can be a credible case for expansion once the full societal costs are considered."

The team of academics said that noise levels will be 150 percent as high as the maximum allowed noise set out by the UK Government’s Aviation Policy Framework, and that passenger numbers in traffic near the airport will rise from 2million to 5million.

But the airport has stated in its master plan that passengers will rise to 3million.

Associate professor in environmental science and expert in environmental impact assessment, Dr Malcolm Hudson, said: “It has been proven in court that environmental impact assessments have to include the full extent of negative environmental impacts of a proposed development.

"The assessment for the proposed extension of Southampton Airport is fundamentally flawed as it fails to do so for traffic or noise impacts. It also fails to account for cumulative effects with housing expansion around Eastleigh, which when combined with more airport traffic, could cause significant congestion."

According to plans published by the airport, measures will be in place to mitigate the impact on noise and carbon emissions.

A spokesperson for Southampton Airport said: "We have and continue to work with a team of leading experts in the technology, noise pollution and traffic industries to work on the data master plan, maximise sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint. It is constantly shifting and the number of passengers rising to 3million is just phase one of the data - the master plan runs until 2037.

"We are aware of technical improvements and are doing everything we can to reduce carbon emissions while people still need to fly.

"Expanding the airport will use aircraft far more efficiently as we will be able to fully load planes with passengers and extending it to 164 metres is quite small compared to larger airports like Gatwick.

"People won't have to travel to bigger airports - we are taking tens of thousands of people off the roads."

Previously, the public could comment on the application until Monday December 23, but this has been extended to Friday January 3.

The planning application can be found on the Eastleigh Borough Council's website.