London Luton unveils plans to become ‘London’s local airport’Mar 15, 2012
London Luton Airport Operations Ltd plans to grow passenger numbers from the current ten million per year to 15-16 million annually over the next decade.
It also wants to improve transport links with London and turn Luton into ‘London’s Local Airport’.
LLAOL’s proposals are the result of a detailed study carried out on the airport and its opportunities for growth. The operator says that it has created a credible and sustainable plan which will help to ease the constraints on short haul aviation capacity in London and meet the Department for Transport’s forecast of 15-16 million passengers per year at London Luton by 2028.
It puts forward a phased development of the airport over the next 15 years to facilitate growth in passenger numbers and airline demand that will avoid overbuilding capacity, and passing on unnecessary costs to airlines and passengers.
The three main components of the proposed initial development phase include:
- Improvements to the terminal building through the construction of a new pier, and a new layout which can be achieved through minor extension works that won’t disrupt the running of the Airport;
- Extending the taxiway to increase the number of aircraft movements, creating new aircraft stands, and upgrading existing ones;
- Constructing two new traffic lanes to the south of Airport Way, leading into a newly created set down system in the Central Terminal Area, which will ease congestion and manage growth in the future.
London Luton managing director Glyn Jones said: “The Mayor of London has proposed a new hub in the Thames Estuary to deal with the constraints on medium- and long-haul aviation capacity in London and the South East.
"Today we have outlined a credible and realistic plan that, if approved, will put Luton at the heart of solving the burden on point-to-point short haul operators who want to grow.”
The airport has hit back at Luton Borough Council’s announcement that it may terminate LLAOL’s concession before its scheduled expiry date in 2028. A spokesman said that passenger numbers had trebled from 3.4 million to ten million since 1998 under LLAOL’s tenure.
The spokesman added: “If the council does terminate the concession, it will be required to make a significant termination payment to us reflecting the value of the remaining years of the concession and certain other liabilities.
“This will run into the hundreds of millions of pounds and risks delaying or even preventing development and the benefits it can bring for the foreseeable future.”