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Airport expansion will bring 10,500 new jobs and £1bn to UK economy

Contribution to the local economy of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire is expected to double, from £732 million to £1.4 billion, says the report by independent consultancy Oxford Economics.

And the airport’s £110 million plans could directly create up to 3,700 new jobs. Indirectly, it supports 27,700 but that figure is expected to rise to £37,700 by 2030.

Plans to redevelop the airport, improving access, parking, the terminal and its facilities, are under way. The end result will increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year.

The Oxford Economics report, commissioned by the airport and Luton Borough Council, comes as London Luton experiences record passenger growth.

Passenger numbers in November were 24% higher than 12 months previously. The airport has added 20 new routes and introduced four new airlines in 2015, making London Luton the fastest growing major airport in the UK.

Airport chief executive Nick Barton said: “This report vividly illustrates the economic benefits that London London Airport brings to the local and regional economy. We will be working hard to ensure that our region and local communities reap the maximum benefit and share in our success.”

Around 40% of the new jobs at the airport will be in managerial, professional or skilled occupations.

The Oxford Economics study also shows that the airport creates a large proportion of highly skilled jobs for the region – the average gross wage at the airport is £38,000, compared to the national average of £27,000. 

The Davies Commission report highlighted that airports such as London Luton have a crucial role to play in meeting capacity demand for London and the South East in the short-medium term. 

Mr Barton said: “The report is very timely as the government considers the location of a new runway in South East England. The Airports Commission made clear that it is imperative for the UK’s international competitiveness that airports such as LLA grow.

"Our redevelopment will ensure that we continue to punch above our weight within London’s six runway system.”

The airport is also a key driver in bringing inward investment to the area.

Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Cheryl Smart said: “London Luton is a hugely valuable asset for the region’s  business community. Many local firms cite the proximity of the airport is a key driver in their choice to locate or expand in Bedfordshire.”

Luton Borough Cllr Andrew Malcolm added: “London Luton Airport already makes a huge contribution to the economy of Luton and the Three Counties area.

"This report illustrates how the airport’s expansion will ensure that it continues to deliver prosperity and jobs for local people through its investment and redevelopment programme.”

Luton-based National Sameday Couriers has seen its business grow by 200% since it became part of the airport’s supply chain. It expects growth to continue as the airport expands, creating new jobs.

Managing director Partha Dey said: “London Luton Airport is central to the success of our business.”