UK’s top airport is in Eastleigh

Southampton Airport celebrations

There is a double dose of good news for Southampton Airport not only is it celebrating winning the title of ‘Top UK Airport’ in the 2014 Wanderlust Readers’ Travel Awards, but figures just released show that passenger numbers for 2013 are up by 1.7%.

Thousands of readers of the national Wanderlust Magazine voted for Southampton Airport as their favourite.

The awards ceremony took place at the Destinations Show in Earls Court.

Southampton Airport ranked top for UK Airports with a satisfaction rating of 87.5%. pipping London City to the prize.

Final positions were based on an average score for the entry, converted to a percentage – meaning that the award was based on all-important satisfaction levels rather than the number of votes.

Managing Director Dave Lees said in a statement:

The respected award of Top UK Airport is a great credit to the brilliant team that we have working at Southampton Airport, who have a real focus on customer service.  It is particularly meaningful because the award is based on the impartial opinions of well-travelled people and I’d like to thank all of our passengers who took the time to vote.

Next Tuesday’s meeting of Southampton will hear how the airport’s passenger numbers have risen 1.7% last year reversing a downward trend since the boom ended.

There were 1,722,989 passengers flying from Eastleigh last year.

This is still 12.5% down from the 1,966,578 who travelled in 2007, but last August’s passenger numbers were particularly good and this year’s increase points to an upturn in the wider economy.

  16 comments for “UK’s top airport is in Eastleigh

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Airport is a major employer here and important to our local economy – we need it to do well but on the other hand.. lower passenger numbers means fewer complaints about noise and pollution!

    • Keith House
      February 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      The number of noise complaints has dropped dramatically in recent years: newer quieter aircraft, better routing, and good close working between the airport, community and Council.

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        February 9, 2014 at 12:04 am

        A couple of years ago an airline (who shall remain nameless) decided to test one of its aircraft’s engines by towing it down to the north end of the runway and revving them up…at 9 am on a Sunday morning.
        Even Keith Trenchard could hear it at Ham Farm.
        Matthew went off on one and got right up a press officer’s nose.
        All sorts of aggro ensued but the upshot is they haven’t done it since 🙂
        But yes, modern aircraft generally much quieter these days, hardly notice airport is there most of the time. Graham refers to the BAC 1-11. During the70s that used to be known as ‘the Eastleigh 4 o’clock earthquake’ .
        Hard to believe such a small aircraft could make so much noise.
        Now noise not so much of a problem but (general) air quality issues in Central Eastleigh still a concern.

      • Rigel
        February 10, 2014 at 11:17 pm

        Quieter aircraft yes , better routing, OK…. but could you possibly give details of the ‘good close working’ between the airport, community and the council reducing noise complaints, because I don’t understand what you mean.

        . does it have anything to do with BAA funding the Pavilion on the Park expansion , exactly what business does the EBC and BAA do ? , what is the tax income from the airport ? and how does it figure in ‘Tackling climate change’

        Are airport emissions counted in your target of 34% reduction by 2020 (http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/pdf/ClimateLocalCommitment.pdf). and if so have you told them of your plans ?

  2. Graham Hunter
    February 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    It is great to have such a good local airport.
    And A very good local neibour.
    It would be good to see an expansion of routes. With today’s hi tech aircraft the noise is far far less than the 1960’s And 1970’s with the old DC 3’s and the very noisy Bristol Super freighters and BAC 1-11’s.
    It saves the rotten journey getting to and congestion at Heathrow and Gatwick.

  3. Stuart jebbitt
    February 8, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    All good. Except it should be called Eastleigh airport. It’s not in Southampton.

    • Graham Hunter
      February 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Now Liverpool Airport is John Lennon Airport.
      Now what should OUR Airport be called. Named after whom???
      Liverpool Airport is in Speak Not Liverpool.
      Gatwick is not in London, Stanstead is not in London.
      Maybe go back to what it was Southampton (Eastleigh) Airport.

      • Graham Hunter
        February 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm

        Here is a clue. Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire, that helped saved this country in the last war and was designed, built and first flew from the Airport. Something we do not make enough of as lots of our Families had involvement with Vickers Supermarine locally. Some sadly who lost their lives.
        Even the Ford factory was part of the bigger picture during WWII as it was part of the airfield complex. Or shortly there after.

        • mm
          Eastleigh Xpress
          February 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm

          It was called Eastleigh Aerodrome when the Spitfire made its maiden flight but of course these days airports tend to be named after the nearest large city rather than the exact geographical location.

          Some are named after local heroes true…

          I associate the Spitfire with Southampton. R J Mitchell lived in Portswood and the Supermarine works were in Woolston so maybe a good choice for a Southampton Airport (though I wonder though if its wartime connotations are suitable for an international airport).

          In last year’s Eastleigh by-election the Raving Loony Monster candidate suggested re naming the airport after local milkman and internationally known comedian Benny Hill as part of his manifesto.

          Anyway, here is what Ed Milliband thought of that idea when I asked him!

          • Graham Hunter
            February 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm

            RJ Mitchell gets my vote. If we ever need to do it. Southampton Airport is fine by me as it stands..
            It should be pointed out that Southampton Airport as it was called was one of the First commercial Airports in The UK back in those distant days.

            • Judith Grajewski
              February 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm

              Don’t forget Joseph Smith who took over as Chief Designer after Mitchell’s death in 1937. Smith died in Chandler’s Ford in 1956. http://tinyurl.com/oqmdcsf

  4. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 9, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Good thread so far, with three councillors one green party activist and the leader of the opposition.

  5. Sue
    February 9, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I think the airport gets good ratings because it is small. I wouldnt want to see it increase in size. And I know this will be an unpopular thought but I really do think that as a country we need to look closely at why and where we travel. What I mean is that all those business trips happen because it’s possible and not necessarily because it’s necessary? The more we make things possible the more it happens and in the long term that is not a good way to plan our environmental future?

  6. Rigel
    February 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    watch the movie folks , First of the Few… the story of R J Mitchell

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0orD8BIuGE

    • Graham Hunter
      February 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Might have over reacted Rigel. Sorry.

  7. Graham Hunter
    February 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    This was a good thread Rigel. With positive input, until your last input.
    We should be proud of our local successful employers and their positive way they engage us all and provide jobs.
    Locally I feel we work very well with the airport. It is a huge asset to us all and a big employer.

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