Has Southampton airport positioned itself perfectly for the future?

7 Dec 2022
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Has Southampton airport positioned itself perfectly for the future?

Has Southampton airport positioned itself perfectly for the future?

In episode three of our second series of Let’s Talk South Coast, our host Nella Pang is joined by Steve Szalay, Operations Director at Southampton International Airport to talk about the contention that surrounded the runway extension and how they have been trying to balance the benefits to the region against any potential noise and environmental issues.

What you’ll hear about in this episode:

  • The challenges they faced in getting the green light for the runway extension
  • The sustainability planning the team is doing to mitigate the noise and environmental impact of the airport
  • The struggle to balance the opposing views they receive with any development planning
  • How Steve wants to utilise the vast local talent to help create or invent an effective carbon reduction mechanism
  • The proposed framework for the extension
  • Steve’s hopes for the future of flight and how Southampton airport with its routes to the Channel Islands could offer the perfect opportunity for them to be at forefront of new technology 
  • Further development opportunities at the airport and what this may look like in the future
  • How the airport adapted during COVID and how they have recovered from it
  • Improvements that can be made once the footfall at the airport increases

Key Insights From This Episode: 

  •  I think we’ve managed to navigate a balanced way through, certainly a way which has got the support of the local population. 8,000 people wrote to the Council, about the consultation and 5,000 were supportive. – Steve 
  • What can we do better from a sustainability perspective? We’ve got quite a few initiatives going on at the airport, the first one is that we can say we’re a carbon-neutral airport and we’re very proud of that. – Steve 
  • People can sit on the side and throw rocks and I get that and it’s their right. But what I’m trying to do is reset the debate and have a proper conversation around what can we do differently? – Steve 
  • We’re going to have a live airport. We have the M27 junction, the train station, so we’ve got all these things which are enormous enablers. Then we’re going to have this development site and I would love it if in five to 10 years time, we look and we see the future of flight and the future of aviation. – Steve 
  • As a business, we were always going to struggle to backfill to 2019 numbers, because Flybe was 90% of our business and it just walked out the door. – Steve 
  • This is my challenge to the Sustainability Expo, to give me something that I can put my money into locally, which has an effect, an impact in terms of carbon reduction. – Steve

About Our Guest: 

Steve Szaley works as Operations Director at Southampton International Airport, where his two roles are running the airport and winning the runway extension. 


Companies Mentioned:

Shout Outs:


About Our Host: 

Nella Pang

I left the corporate world in 2020 and launched Omega RE a commercial advisory firm in a pandemic, whilst on maternity. Brave some people would say. 🚀

The pandemic has taught many of us a thing or two, particularly on how we can do business. I support businesses to navigate the complexities of Commercial Real Estate, so they can achieve their business objectives through their Real Estate decisions.

Lease negotiations can be a minefield. Even small mistakes can drive up costs. That’s why I will represent your interests every step of the way, ensuring you receive full value of our experience and market knowledge.

With over 18 years’ experience in the Commercial Property Market having worked for the big corporates Jones Lang LaSalle Limited, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Vail Williams.

I want to be able to share my corporate knowledge with my clients, whilst offering a more personal dedicated commercial advisory service.

Having acted for a wide range of clients from major pension funds to private investors, small businesses and individuals. I love meeting people and I am passionate about adding value to my clients business and watching their business thrive.

About Omega RE

Omega RE is a commercial property advisory firm based on the South Coast. Providing expert advice to Landlords, Occupiers in the industrial, office and retail markets.

Omega RE is always thinking ‘Outside the Box’ in our advice to clients and the way we do business. We don’t settle for mediocre, we challenge the norm and are dedicated to finding solutions that is best for our clients.

We are a people business, based on strong relationships and partnerships, and we offer a personal level of service.

As the market evolves, we will too adapt to be successful and want the same for our clients. We are committed to finding innovative ways of marketing and how to do things more efficiently.

We will never stagnate.

We are disciplined in everything we do, we take time to understand the situation and set a bespoke strategy for each client. Not one size fits all. We do not cut corners or take shortcuts and our integrity is undisputed.

Providing clients’ a hands-on approach to finding the perfect property; office, industrial, warehouse or retail space to meet business needs and negotiating the best commercial lease terms, is what we do best.

We come to work because we’re passionate about providing expert, innovative, independent advice to clients. We want to help businesses navigate the complexities of Commercial Real Estate.

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