The consultation runs until 31 August, with a series of 17 consultation events taking place in and around Luton between 9 July and 4 August. At these events everyone will have the opportunity to view the plans, speak to members of the expert project team, and provide feedback.
London Luton Airport celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and has been a great success story. It is the fastest-growing of all the UK’s major airports, with passenger numbers increasing by 66 per cent over the last five years.
Because LLAL is wholly owned by Luton Council, local and regional communities share in that success. The airport already supports more than 30,000 jobs and contributes £1.5bn into the UK economy, including more than £500m into Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
We take the responsibility to our local community very seriously. LLAL has provided millions of pounds every year for local charities, community and voluntary organisations in communities impacted by airport operations in and around Luton. Over the last five years, this total has topped £50m.
At 62p per passenger, that’s more than 24 times the scale of our nearest airport competitor.
Cllr Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL, said: “We believe it is important that the public have the chance to be involved throughout the expansion planning process right from the earliest stage.
“We are committed to minimising and mitigating as far as possible, the impacts of expansion. In this consultation we will show our assessments of the impacts, and ask for feedback on our proposals for mitigating them. Public engagement on these issues will be vital in making sure that the airport can be a good neighbour to surrounding residents.”
Demand for air travel to and from the UK is set to grow over the next 20 years, and the government wants all airports to play their part in meeting this demand by making best use of their existing runways.
London Luton Airport could more than double the number of passengers it serves, by providing more space for passengers and aircraft, without building a new runway.
Cllr Hazel Simmons, Leader of Luton Council, said: “The airport continues to be a key driver for the council’s work to improve people’s lives and bring new opportunity, aspiration and prosperity.
“It is a key magnet for investment, and it is estimated that up to 800 new jobs and an extra £76m for the regional economy across the three counties is created with every additional million passengers.
“This is one of the reasons why we recently invested £225m in the Luton DART (Direct Air- Rail Transit) mass passenger transit system. The DART is designed to significantly reduce passenger journey times to the airport using the national rail network.
“With a connection time of less than five minutes between the Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal building, the DART will generate further growth and create new employment and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as reducing pollution, and congestion on our roads.”
As a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, the case for giving the airport permission to expand will be examined by the national Planning Inspectorate – with the final decision taken by the Secretary of State for Transport, not Luton Council.
LLAL’s proposals are currently in the earliest stages of development, so everyone is invited to share their thoughts on these initial options for growth.
Following this round of consultation, the proposals will be refined into a single option which will be subject to a further round of public consultation in 2019.