WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine says (Echo, 17 Sep) he backs the airport's proposed expansion because it is "now actually needed to allow the airport to survive full stop".

However the airport's revised planning submission provides no evidence for this and in fact makes no such claim.

On the contrary, it says that if other airlines take over Flybe's routes (which is already happening despite Covid-19) extending the runway will have "neutral" economic impact and lead to no new jobs.

The same article quotes Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes saying "Southampton airport ... needs to extend its runway to enable greener travel and stop constituents travelling to Gatwick and Heathrow".

But flights from Southampton are no "greener" than from anywhere else, and the extra CO2 emissions caused by people driving to a more distant airport are a tiny fraction of those caused by the flights themselves.

It is also hard to see how Southampton can ever compete with the range of routes offered by Heathrow.

Meanwhile, expanding the airport will cause misery for an extra 40,000 people under the flight path - in terms of numbers affected by noise, Southampton's relatively small airport ranks second only to the much larger Heathrow.

If we didn't already have an airport here, would we even contemplate building one so close to a densely populated area?

(An area, moreover, with already high levels of deprivation)

If not, why are we contemplating expanding the one we do have?

Angela Cotton