Luton Airport plans further growth to 25 million passengers (not just 18 million) within 10 years

Luton Airport is planning to expand to 25 million passengers, in a move campaign groups are arguing could increase noise pollution above Hertfordshire. Luton is planning significant expansion, while NATS says the skies over south east England are overcrowded and close to saturation. Neil McArthur of local group, Harpenden Sky, submitted a Freedom of Information Request which revealed that the LLAL planning strategy is for steady growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years. This represents nearly a 40% increase over the current planning limit of 18 million passengers, which was agreed by Luton borough council.  Residents who live under flight paths in St Albans, Harpenden and elsewhere in Hertfordshire have made multiple complaints to the airport about plane noise, due to a new routing system which has narrowed the flight paths and concentrated the noise over a smaller area. Over the past year, noise complaints have increased from 191 in the first quarter of 2016, to 1,849 in the first quarter of 2017. Neil said the airport is not being properly managed, and changes are being rushed through too fast. Andrew Lambourne, from campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said the airport’s focus is entirely on growth for airlines, giving no mention of making the :airport a better neighbour to local communities.
.

 

Luton Airport plans further growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years

4 August 2017 (Herts Advertiser)

Luton Airport is planning to expand to 25 million passengers, in a move campaign groups are arguing could increase noise pollution above Hertfordshire. 

London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), a subsidiary of Luton borough council, is planning an expansion of passenger numbers despite the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) stating this month that the skies over south east England are overcrowded and close to saturation.

Neil McArthur of Harpenden Sky submitted a Freedom of Information Request which revealed that the LLAL planning strategy is for steady growth to 25 million passengers within 10 years. This represents nearly a 40 per cent increase over the current planning limit of 18 million passengers, which was agreed by Luton borough council.

Residents who live under flight paths in St Albans, Harpenden and elsewhere in Hertfordshire have made multiple complaints to the airport about aeroplane noise, due to a new routing system which has narrowed the flight paths and concentrated the noise over a smaller area. Over the past year, noise complaints have increased from 191 in the first quarter of 2016, to 1,849 in the first quarter of 2017.

Neil said: “The pace of change at Luton Airport is outstripping the airport’s capability to deal with a lot of other issues including alleviation of noise from air traffic.

“Luton Airport is simply not being properly managed. They are rushing through too much too quickly and as a result they make mistakes.”

Neil also argued that passenger costs have escalated, and the airport’s ‘drop-off’ roadway is inadequate for passenger volume.

Andrew Lambourne, from campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said: “LLAL’s document clearly prioritises making Luton the go-to airport for airlines, so that market demands can be met. There’s no mention at all of making the airport a better neighbour to local communities.

“LLAL’s commercial interest is best served by avoiding any kind of restrictions on noise, types of aircraft or hours of operation. People who live in the area around Luton Airport take a different view when they are trying to get to sleep at night, enjoy their gardens, have a conversation or get some rest from the noise. That’s why we’re insisting that the increased profits should be balanced by stricter noise controls aimed at driving noise down, not just letting it increase.”

Andrew urged those affected by noise pollution to contact either the airport or their local MP with their concerns, and to join local campaign groups.

He said: “The more different people who take the time to complain, the more chance we have of pushing back against this incessant dash for cash regardless of the noise pollution it causes.”

A Luton Airport spokesman said: “As the airport operator we are focused on delivering our plans to transform LLA and increase capacity to 18m passengers a year.

“We appreciate the patience of our passengers during the redevelopment work, many of whom are already seeing the benefits. We’ve made significant progress in easing congestion on our roads and are working hard to improve public transport links to the airport.

“The overall cost of a trip is often less when compared to other major London airports.”

A spokesman for Luton borough council said: “In its response to a recent Government consultation on the National Aviation Planning Strategy, London Luton Airport Ltd demonstrated the theoretical potential of growth at London Luton Airport.

“It is the responsibility of every airport in the country to look at demand projections and how facilities and resources may potentially be optimised in line with planning policy to best serve the aviation and economic interests of the UK.”

http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/passenger-expansion-plans-for-luton-airports-raise-concern-of-noise-pollution-over-hertfordshire-1-5129151

.


.

Freedom of Information request reveals Luton Airport could expand to 25 million passengers

Play video     Video report by ITV News’ Dani Crawshaw
8.8.2017

Luton Airport could expand to 25 million passengers within the next 10 years, according to newly released documents.

London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), a subsidiary of Luton Borough Council, are thought to be keen to push on with plans to expand passenger numbers despite the UK’s National Air Traffic Control Service warning that the country’s skies are already overcrowded.

The campaign group ‘Harpenden Sky’ submitted a Freedom of Information request which suggested that the LLAL want to gradually increase the capacity of the airport to 25 million passengers over the next decade.

The news has been met with disapproval by residents living under the flight paths in Hertfordshire who believe that the extra planes would significantly increase noise pollution in the area.

However, the current planning limit stands at 18 million, and the airport insists they are fully focussed on reaching this milestone first before even thinking about increasing that number further.

“In its response to a recent Government consultation on the National Aviation Planning Strategy, London Luton Airport Ltd demonstrated the theoretical potential of growth at London Luton Airport,” an airport spokesman said.

“It is the responsibility of every airport in the country to look at demand projections and how facilities and resources may potentially be optimised in line with planning policy to best serve the aviation and economic interests of the UK.”

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2017-08-08/freedom-of-information-request-reveals-luton-airport-could-expand-to-25-million-passengers/

.


See earlier:

Parliamentary question. 13.10.2016

Lord Berkeley, Labour.  To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the planned expansion of Luton Airport from 10 million to 18 million passengers a year, they intend to include in the specification for the new Midland Main Line longer-distance passenger service a requirement that four trains per hour per direction should call at Luton Parkway in order to increase the percentage of air passengers arriving by rail.

Reply by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The next East Midlands franchise is due to start in July 2018 and we are currently undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the high-level view of the franchise specification. We are due to begin a public consultation later this year to inform the specification. Until the views submitted through the public consultation are understood and further analysis is conducted on the options for the franchise, a firm decision cannot be taken at this stage. I would encourage the noble Lord to make his views known through the formal public consultation process when it opens.     Link to They Work For You.

.


Luton Airport flight path changes “unfair to Hertfordshire residents”

Luton Airport’s change in flight paths are affecting residents throughout Herts, including those living in Stevenage, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City and St Albans – but avoids Luton itself.  Complaints about plane noise from Luton Airport have leapt by 78%, with residents saying their lives have been “devastated” by detrimental flight path changes. The latest edition of the airport’s quarterly monitoring report has also revealed a 60% rise in the number of complainants.  Flight movement maps in the report, recording westerly and easterly movements over a 24 hour period in March, show a concentration of planes flying over many urban areas in Herts, including St Albans district, Stevenage, Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.   Yet, the skies above Luton, and the immediate area around the town – apart from the airport’s location in the south – appear to be mostly devoid of aircraft by comparison.  Between January and March this year, there were 191 noise complaints, compared to 107 in the first quarter in 2015. The airport has been expanding rapidly since its owner, and prime beneficiary, Luton borough council, controversially approved its bid to near double passenger throughput to 18 million a year in December 2013.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/07/luton-airport-flight-path-changes-unfair-to-hertfordshire-residents/

.

.