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Right on the fringes of the top 20 airports in the UK is Southampton Airport, a facility that handles almost two million passengers on an annual basis and one that is popular with passengers in the south coast area that it serves. It is one of the oldest airfields in Britain, with evidence to say that the location was first used for flying as long ago as 1910 when a local flying pioneer, one Edwin Moon, flew a prototype plane from the fields that then made up the site. The airport is proud of this association and is celebrating 100 years of flying at Southampton Airport at the time of writing.
Historical associations go further as the field was used as an air base in the First and Second world wars, and it is also the site of the very first test flight of the legendary Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft that was crucial to success in the Battle of Britain. Recent improvements to the facilities in the airport – excellent already but now much improved – saw a restaurant and bar dedicated to the designer of the Spitfire, RJ Mitchell.
Southampton Airport offers a wide selection of flights to popular European holiday destinations and locations in the UK, and is well used by the population in the local catchment area. Easy to reach and set for future improvement that will expand its facilities further, Southampton, being just an hour from London by rail and with a dedicated station on site, is an important provincial airport and a site of great historical importance to the history of aviation in the UK.