Airport expansion plan could create 6,000 new jobsJan 19, 2012
London Luton Airport Ltd, the company that owns the airport on behalf of Luton Borough Council, wants to increase the airport’s capacity from 11.5 million to 18 million, using the airport’s existing boundary and current runway.
LLAL has introduced the futureLuToN:Optimsation project to the airport’s consultative commigttee of residents, councils and community groups and a month-long public consultation prior to a formal planning application being submitted is due to begin early this month.
LLAL chair Cllr Robin Harris said: “We are at the very beginning of a journey that builds on the tremendous success we have seen through the last decade and will ultimately bring huge benefits to Luton and the wider region, with jobs and much-needed income. The benefits that will flow from the airport’s development will be realised in the local, regional and national economies.”
The project aims to optimise the capacity of the existing airport and LLAL will consider modifications and improvements to areas including the aircraft taxiways, aprons, piers and parking stands, the road network, airport car parking and the passenger terminal. London Luton Airport is the UK’s fifth biggest airport, is a headquarters for budget carrier easyJet and a major base for Wizz Air, Ryanair and Monarch.
Cllr Harris said: “Our plans that will go out for public consultation in February are ambitious. While we will have to work hard to meet our aspirations, I am encouraged by the vast majority of people and businesses in Luton and the wider region who believe strongly that the airport is a terrific asset for job creation and our biggest wealth creator.”
Government forecasts show an air travel capacity shortage in South East England by 2020. Cllr Harris said: “The need for additional airport capacity in the South-East of England and the enormous growth that low-cost carriers have demonstrated in recent years gives us every confidence that London Luton Airport will continue to become ever-more attractive to both existing and new airlines.”
Any growth in passenger numbers would be managed responsibly, he added. Expansion’s impact on traffic flow, noise and the environment would be fully evaluated.
“We will consult actively and listen carefully ahead of submitting a planning application to enhance this important people’s asset but we must be ready to embrace market demand in the future.”