Approval has been granted by Luton Borough Council for a £200 million rail line which will replace the current bus shuttle service.

The 1.4-mile line will link the existing Luton Airport Parkway station with the terminal building, and is scheduled to open by 2021.

Plans call for a fully-automated, two-way, 24-hour capable Mass Passenger Transit (MPT) system, which will run between purpose-built stations at Stirling Place and Central Terminal.

The line will run alongside the mainline railway before crossing over Airport Way via a new landmark bridge, and continuing through the airport’s existing mid-term car park, under a taxiway, and onto the Central Terminal.

It will provide a five-minute transfer time between Luton Airport Parkway and the terminal building, and less than 30 minutes between St Pancras station and the airport.

The new rail line is part of a major redevelopment of Luton airport, with an investment of £110 million aimed at increasing capacity to 20 million by 2020.

The airport has also called on the government to introduce an “express-style” rail service offering at least four trains per hour between central London and Luton Airport Parkway,  as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising process.