Luton To Increase Capacity

London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), the UK’s fifth biggest airport, is seeking to increase its capacity by 57% to 18 million passengers per annum (mppa) using its existing runway.  Airport bosses claims the increase could generate 6,000 new jobs and millions of pounds of investment.  It can currently serve 11.5mppa.
The decision was made following government forecasts that estimate an air travel capacity shortage in the South East of England by 2020.
On January 16, a project called ‘futureLuToN: Optimisation’ was introduced to the airport’s consultative committee representing local residents, councils and community groups.  LLAL will consider where modifications are required to optimise capacity, including taxiways, aprons, piers and parking stands, the road network, car parking and the passenger terminal.
The project has a website where proposals can be viewed and interested parties can provide feedback.  A pre-planning application public consultation will begin on February 6, when plans will be presented in Luton and around the wider area, and will run until March 5.
Councillor Robin Harris, Chair of LLAL, said the changes would bring “huge benefits” to Luton and its surrounding area.  He commented:  “The need for additional airport capacity in the South East of England and the enormous growth that low-cost carriers have demonstrated in recent years gives us every confidence that London Luton Airport will continue to become ever-more attractive to both existing and new airlines.”
LLAL is a headquarters for easyJet and a major base for Wizz Air, Ryanair and Monarch.
Admitting that the plans were ambitious, Cllr Harris concluded:  “While we will have to work hard to meet our aspirations, I am encouraged by the vast majority of people and businesses in Luton and the wider region who believe strongly that the airport is a terrific asset for job creation and our biggest wealth creator.”