Conservative Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has said the proposed expansion of Luton Airport is both “unsuitable” and “unsustainable”, and its growth would be “Bedfordshire’s gain – Hertfordshire’s pain” in terms of noise and pollution. The airport, owned by Luton Borough Council, published its ambitious growth plan – to expand not only to 18 million annual passengers, but to 36 – 38 million – in December. It hopes to reach the 38 million by 2050 with 240,000 flights a year, using its one existing runway. The local geography is such that adding a second runway would be virtually impossible – slopes. Mr Afolami told a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday that he “was not against airports” and “recognised the jobs and economic growth the airport brings to the UK and to Luton” …. but “The proposed expansion to more than double Luton’s passenger numbers is both unsuitable to the local area and unsustainable in the context of the constraints that exist in rural Hertfordshire. Luton is just not the right place for an airport of the proposed size of 38m passengers.” However, Transport Minister Paul Maynard said that the airport was already “actively engaged” in local consultation.