Luton airport starts consultation for increasing to 32 million passengers

3 Feb 2022 by Tom Otley

Luton airport is starting a consultation with local residents over its plans for increasing its yearly capacity to 32 million passengers, increasing its capacity from its current cap of 19 million.

The owners of London Luton Airport, a Luton Borough Council-owned subsidiary called Luton Rising, will open the statutory consultation next week which will run until April 4, 2022.

The proposal is to increase the capacity of the airport to 32 million passengers per year, by building a new terminal and making the best use of the existing runway.

The airport has invested £225 million in the new Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) which will open in the first half of this year.  The Luton DART will transport passengers from Luton Airport Parkway Station up the airport in four minutes, every four minutes.

The airport says that this will mean that passengers “will be able to get on a train at London St Pancras Station, and step inside the London Luton Airport terminal just 30 minutes later”.

Luton DART

Councillor Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, said: of the new consultation “Our airport is a vital part of the economic ecosystem of the region and beyond, directly and indirectly supporting tens of thousands of jobs. The proposed expansion will generate thousands more jobs and more than a £1 billion increase in economic activity in Luton and the neighbouring counties. We want more local people to be able to access these jobs, so our proposals also include an extensive Draft Employment and Training Strategy to make that possible.

“Our airport is the most socially impactful in the UK. Since 1998, we have contributed £257 million to support frontline services, and since 2002, we have contributed £155 million to support local community organisations and charities – 20x per passenger more than any other UK airport. These organisations help make life-transforming changes for people, and our proposals include the new Community First fund, which will allow for much greater support for community projects in Luton and the neighbouring counties impacted by airport operations.”

Graham Olver, Chief Executive of Luton Rising, said: “These proposals will differ in significant ways from those presented at the previous statutory consultation in 2019. For example, our new Green Controlled Growth framework is at the heart of our sustainability measures, which we believe are some of the most far-reaching ever put forward by a UK airport. It places robust limits on key environmental impacts and will not rely on our good faith to keep to them. They will be legally binding and independently monitored.

“The views expressed at the 2019 consultation were an important influence on these changes. This is the chance to have your say on our new plans, and help us to improve them further.”

Members of the public will be able to see the proposals and ask questions at 13 in-person consultations. There will also be a virtual room, re-creating the in-person experience online, available 24/7 throughout the period.

The detailed proposals, consultation materials and the virtual consultation room will go live on the website on February 8, 2022.

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