IT IS typical of Southampton Airport that it has rejected last week’s report by the New Economics Foundation as factually inaccurate without deigning to provide any evidence for doing so (Daily Echo May 22).

The NEF is highly authoritative.

Its conclusion, that the airport has greatly exaggerated the likely economic benefits of expanding the runway whilst also seriously understating the environmental damage caused by the resulting CO2 emissions, is both devastating and well argued.

If the NEF is right, how on earth can anyone justify subjecting nearly 50,000 local residents to the misery of extra aircraft noise in return for only minor economic benefits to the region?

Before a final decision is made on whether to go ahead with this expansion is it too much to ask for an independent investigation by suitably qualified experts to establish the facts?

If the airport is telling the truth it has nothing to fear from a totally impartial, evidence-based inquiry.

Mark Baylis

Highbridge