Final planning consent has been given for a £100m (US$172m) development of London Luton Airport. The airport says, will enable it to become a: “leading airport serving those living in London, Luton and the surrounding regions,” and create over 5,000 jobs in Luton and the surrounding areas.
The plans, including an expanded and modernised terminal building and improved surface access, are forecast to increase the airport’s annual economic impact by £283m (US$486m) to £1.2bn (US$2.6bn). The work will increase annual passenger capacity from 12 million to 18 million by 2031.
Final planning consent was provided by Luton Borough Council after the Department for Communities and Local Government ruled in April this year that the planning application could proceed.
The project has commenced with the launch of a procurement process, under the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) rules, for contractors to deliver the substantial works involved.
Commenting on the start of the development programme, Clive Condie, Executive Chairman of London Luton Airport, said:
“This marks the start of an exciting new journey for London Luton, as we begin the process of transforming the Airport to deliver a great experience for our customers, Luton and the surrounding regions. Our vision is for a vastly improved airport which plays a major role in providing more capacity in the London system”.
The announcement follows a number of significant developments at London Luton under new owners Aena, the world’s largest airports operator, and the Infrastructure fund of Ardian, a private investment company. In March this year, the Airport signed a new ten-year deal with easyJet, which will more than double the number of easyJet passengers using the Airport to over 9 million a year. The airport says it is set to handle a record number of passengers go through its terminal this year, with numbers expected to outstrip the previous high of 10.3m in 2008.
Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s Commercial Director said: “As London Luton’s largest airline, currently flying just under 5 million passengers in and out of the airport each year, we welcome the news that final planning consent has been granted. Delivering these development plans will not only enable London Luton to meet its full potential, with easyJet offering an even greater range of business and leisure destinations, but also drive economic growth and provide more jobs for Luton and the surrounding region.”
The construction work at London Luton Airport will take place over three phases and will include a larger, modernised terminal building to accommodate and equip up to 20 security passenger screening lanes;15 immigration passenger screening lanes; up to eight international and one domestic passenger reclaim belts;increased retail, catering, circulation and seating areas;a two-storey pier; newly configured road system in front of the Central Terminal Area; a new parallel taxiway to unlock capacity for an additional six million passengers a year from the existing runway plus extra car parking facilities including a new multi-storey car park.