” futureLuToN:Optimisation ” consultation on expanding Luton airport to 18 mppa

London Luton Airport Ltd, that owns the airport, has now launched its public consultation into expansion plans. This lasts until 26th March. They then plan to submit a planning application in April, expecting a decision by Luton Borough Council by Autumn 2012. The airport is operated by London Luton Airport Operations Limited on a 30 year concession (granted in 1998). The owner has the opportunity to terminate the current concession agreement from 2014. They want to increase passenger numbers from the current annual 9.5 million (in 2011, up to 18 million, while improving the passenger experience. This is what they call Optimisation. There is not one mention of climate change, or of carbon dioxide, in the entire proposal. They acknowledge there will be more noise, but there are no details and just thin, waffly assurances that everything possible will be done to minimise it.



There is Comprehensive information about the consultation, what it leaves out, what questions need to be asked etc,  on LADACAN’s website at http://www.ladacan.org/  and  http://bit.ly/yYY2uV


(from  http://www.futureluton.co.uk/consultation.asp – the ” futureLuToN:Optimisation ” website.

There is not one mention of climate change, or of carbon dioxide, in the entire proposal.

The airport states:

The application will not include any proposals to change the flight paths to and from the airport as this is a matter for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The consultation is on an emerging preferred option, which we believe is the most appropriate package of works needed to increase the capacity of the airport to 18 mppa.


“The Department for Transport anticipates an air travel capacity shortage in the south-east of England by 2020 and it is expected that the new capacity in Luton will be in place well ahead of time to meet this need.”


Aerial view of the airport at present

Their “emerging preferred option”

The emerging preferred option has been developed taking into account the constraints of the airport, the existing infrastructure of the airport and the forecast demand for air travel. In addition, the need to improve the passenger experience across the board informs all LLAL and the team’s thinking on the project.

Emerging preferred option plan:

The proposals involve measures to optimise the capacity of the airport in four key areas, each of which is linked. For the project to achieve its objectives of improving passenger experience whilst increasing capacity to 18 mppa, all of these measures are required.


  1. The current layout of the taxiways leads to aircraft ground congestion during peak periods. To enable growth it is necessary to address this. The proposals includea) a parallel taxiway to the east of the Central Terminal Area (CTA) to enhance circulation in and around the aircraft stands andb) new parallel taxiway extensions for either end of the runway (currently many aircraft have to back track on the runway to maximise the distance available for take-off, which has an impact on the runway’s capacity).Improving the ground movement of aircraft is also likely to result in a reduction in flight delays and the ground running of aircraft engines. This is being investigated in more detail as the emerging option is developed.

Piers, Stands and Aprons

An increase in the number of aircraft landing and taking off also requires an increase in the capacity of the CTA to handle the aircraft and passengers. A number of new stands are proposed, with as many as possible as ‘contact’ stands i.e. where a passenger can access the aircraft directly from the terminal building.

New piers are being provided to service the new contact stands and reduce the need for bussing. To provide the new contact stands would require taking space currently used for other functions such as car parking which needs to be re-provided.

Additional aircraft parking will also be required and where possible development of the emerging option has focused on making best use of existing areas through their extension and reconfiguration.


In order for the airport terminal building to be able to handle the increase in the number of passengers the current building will be reconfigured with a small amount of additional new build between the newer part of the building and the original passenger terminal, incorporating the current bus drop area. At the same time as reconfiguring the terminal to increase its capacity the opportunity will be taken to focus on delivering an improved passenger experience and service at the airport.

Road access and car parking

Parts of the road network in the airport are already congested at peak times; the proposals therefore seek to improve the movement of traffic in the airport through an improved road layout in the CTA, whilst at the same time safeguarding future access to land to the east of the airport.

The increase in the number of passengers, combined with the need to replace some surface parking with new piers and stands, means there is a requirement for more parking to be provided at the airport. A new multi-storey car park is therefore proposed next to the CTA that will enable easy passenger access to the terminal and at the same time minimise the amount of land required for the car park.



Website Overview at  http://www.futureluton.co.uk/consultation.asp

Programme at   http://www.futureluton.co.uk/programme.asp

Lots more waffly and non-committal responses to hypothetical questions at http://www.futureluton.co.uk/faq.asp




The airport acknowledges there will be more aircraft noise if there is a doubling of passengers.  They show this map, indication noise in 2025 with 18 million passengers per year.

The anticipated noise contour for 18mppa in 2025    (57, 60, 63, 66 and 69 dB contours shown)  http://www.futureluton.co.uk/effects.asp   (without sufficient detail to be useful).

The existing noise contours are in the Luton Airport Noise Action Plan at the back of Noise Action Plan   but the contours are not labelled, making them difficult to compare.  Text on noise on page 18 of it.

The ” futureLuToN:Optimisation ” consultation website says of noise:

Q14. What will be the increase in noise and how will it be mitigated?

A14. We are committed to ensuring the airport will continue to be a good neighbour and any growth is managed as responsibly and sustainably as it has always been. The airport’s night noise levels are currently lower than any UK airport, with a night ban for the older and noisiest aircraft. We shall assess the best options, including continuing to encourage airlines to operate modern, quieter generation aircraft. This forms part of our ongoing commitment to minimising impact on local communities whilst balancing the environmental effects and the economic benefit of a successful airport. Part of the EIA will be a thorough assessment of all the potential noise impacts of 18mppa at the airport along with consideration of mitigation measures. The consultation includes information on the potential air noise impacts for the community to understand and respond to


Details of where to respond are at  http://www.futureluton.co.uk/faq.asp


The airport’s press release in January is at http://www.futureluton.co.uk/pdf/lla_pressrelease.pdf


Earlier news:

Luton Airport expansion consultation delayed by a week

February 9, 2012     The public consultation by Luton Airport and Luton Borough Council to get the public’s views on the proposed expansion of Luton Airport has been delayed by a week. They will be looking to double the capacity of the airport up to 18m passenger per annum, with a view to submitting a planning application in April. The 6 week consultation will now start on Monday 12th Feb. A number of exhibitions are to be held in conjunction with the consultation, and some have been rescheduled.    Click here to view full story…


Luton Airport hopes to boost passenger numbers by 7- 9 million per year

January 16, 2012     Luton airport – the UK’s 5th biggest – has announced a 4 week consultation on its plans that will start on 6 th February. It has plans to increase the annual number of passengers. It would handle 18 million passengers a year under the plan, up from 11.5 million. Work “can be achieved within the airport’s existing boundary and using the existing runway”. Once the consultation ends, the airport hopes to submit a planning application in April. The airport says: “Impacts on the environment, noise and road traffic flows will be fully evaluated as part of the process.” The airport announced plans for road improvements in November to reduce anticipated congestion at the time of the Olympics. Some of the work is paid for by public funds.     Click here to view full story…


Noise fears over Luton Airport expansion

December 12th 2011      LUTON Airport’s proposal to double the number of passengers to 18 million a year has alarmed residents in Harpenden, with one labelling the move as “utter madness”. The airport is also looking at what its future potential capacity could be, if not constrained by its current boundary.  However following a Freedom of Information request from local campaign group HarpendenSky.com, a spokesman has admitted it was inevitable that flying more passengers will increase air traffic and plane noise. The airport is owned by Luton borough council, but operated, managed and developed by a private consortium, London Luton Airport Operations Ltd.  Click here to view full story …..


Residents around Luton fear airport development plans will increase noise

6.10.2011  Luton Borough Council, the main shareholder of London Luton Airport , is considering the airport’s future. At an Executive meeting, it said it wants to increase the annual passengers to 18 million – almost double the current number, with a view to increasing up to 30 million passengers a year in due course. This would cause more road congestion and more noise across flight paths in the area, including Stevenage, Hitchin and Baldock.   Click here to view full story…