A GROUP of 20 people has raised fears over the environmental impact of Southampton Airport's expansion. 

A letter sent to the Romsey Advertiser responded to a recent advert in which the airport said it could announce more destinations on the back of its runway expansion last year. 

Lindley Owen, of Wyndham Drive, Abbotswood, told the Advertiser that people should look to alternative travel.

Mr Owen, 74, said that the letter was written after a concert put on by Concerts Don't Cost the Earth.

He said: “After the music we split into groups discussed issues that were important to us. We decided to write a letter to the Romsey Advertiser in response to the advert about Southampton Airport's new flights after the runway expansion.

Hampshire Chronicle: The first plane has taken flight from Southampton Airport’s runway extension.

“There was no mention of the damage it causes to the environment. There were 20 people at the concert who signed the letter.”

Mr Owen added: “The concerns are that the world is facing a climate disaster, we have to act faster. That has to start with local, national and international businesses. Every airport should have a carbon reduction plan in line with the government target to get to net zero by 2050. 

“We have to move rapidly. These targets need to be met more quickly. If people fly, they should investigate non-flying alternatives. Carbon emissions are more deadly from the air. 

“The government recently made our climate targets weaker.”

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Mr Owen said that small lifestyle changes can make a big impact. 

“We can't be perfect when it comes to greener travel alternatives. I drive, but I also cycle when I can. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Lindley Owen

“People can consider how to make something more environmentally friendly. For example, eating red meat twice a week instead of five times a week or using public transport more often. 

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“Also, flights are very cheap now and there is no tax on aviation fuel. That has to change,” he said. 

The concert was held in Greatbridge Road on April 21. A total of 50 per cent of the concert fee is donated to environmental charities. 

The letter to the Advertiser said: “Re your article (15/4/2024), "Southampton Airport could be set for flights to Greece, Italy and Malta"- no mention is made of the adverse impact of aviation and increased flights. The environmental damage caused by increased flying is incontrovertible. We should be using alternatives (eg local holidays, using trains, buses, cycling etc.)

“We, the undersigned, ask that your newspaper reflects this vital issue in future.”

It was signed by Lindley Owen, David Chillingworth, Barbara Hodge, Sue Ingham, Marcus Decker, Mariano Korman, Claire Carré, Isaac McDonald, Françoise Carré, Helen Smallwood, Andrew Smallwood, Joel McDonald, Debbie Goodall, Alex McArdle, Oleksii Pustyntsev, Elisabeth Bouynot, Elizabeth Marks, Di McDonald, Rod Rumble and Holly Cullen-Davies.