I AM a consultant in the bio-energy sector working with clients in the agri-food sector on their decarbonisation plans.

Some of this activity takes place in Scotland (often flying from Southampton Airport with the sadly demised Flybe).

As normality returns I will hope to resume flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen from Southampton, other clients in Ireland and in Europe.

Hence, it is vital that Southampton airport remains viable and recovers after the difficulties of the past 18 months.

The extension of the airport runway, will benefit the thousands of local business travellers who use the airport.

Members of Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC) chose not to support Southampton Airport’s runway planning application, against the recommendation of their planning officers and the wishes of the regions business community.

Extending the runway by just 164 metres will make the airport more economically viable, safeguard regional connectivity, and protect thousands of jobs linked to its operations.

As we emerge from the Covid lockdown, I hope that Eastleigh councillors will supporting these runway extension plans and its future as a transport hub for businesses but also an international departure point, both by air and sea.

Sea and air transport are a huge part of the region’s economy and our heritage (manufacture of the Spitfire, home of the Titanic) including ship building and the global cruise market.

Richard Gueterbock