A FINAL consultation on plans to expand the runway at Southampton Airport has been launched.

Residents are being urged to have their say on the plans to expand the runway by 164 metres.

It comes as airport bosses submitted more details to Eastleigh Borough Council.

These include the possibility for the authority to propose a maximum noise cap on the airport.

Airport managers said the noise mitigation measures exceed industry standards.

But campaigners said there is no justification for the plans to go ahead.

The news comes as airport managing director Steve Szalay previously said the future of the airport will be hanging in the balance if the plans are rejected.

Action group Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO), said they fear that new government policy could mean that there would be no noise cap in the future.

In a statement campaigners added: “We feel strongly that there is inadequate mitigation presented in the new documents. The proposed noise insulation scheme will benefit up to 650 households, yet over 60,000 people will be exposed to increased noise. Moreover, Noise insulation will offer no benefits should residents wish to sit out in their gardens.Despite claims that the airport is not viable without the extended runway, the planning documents offer no evidence of this. On the contrary they indicate that if Flybe’s routes are taken up by other airlines, extending the runway will provide “neutral” economic impact and zero new jobs.”

According to the plans residents could also benefit from grants of up to £5,000 to cover the cost of measures such as double glazing and loft insulation.

Mr Szalay said: “We have offered and provided additional information to the council on the expected maximum noise levels associated with the runway extension. By collating this additional insight, we are allowing the council the opportunity to propose a maximum noise cap on the airport. This is a significant change., as our application would provide a positive control over noise that does not currently exist and which is above and beyond industry standards. This is the final submission we will be making to the council and are hopeful of a decision on our plans before Christmas.”

The consultation will close on November 15.