Luton Airport consultation about expansion plans, to increase to 32 million annual passengers
Luton airport has started another public consultation (ends 4th April) on further expansion plans. It now wants to increase its annual number of passengers (from 18.2 million in 2019) to 32 million (mppa). The proposals by the airport owner Luton Rising [the new name the company that owns Luton airport has started using] involve expanding the existing terminal, building a 2nd terminal and making “best use” [ie. more use] of the existing runway. At the start of December 2021, Luton council, which conveniently owns the airport, gave it permission to increase from 18 to 19 mppa. If approved, the Phase 1 would be expansion of Terminal 1 and associated facilities to increase capacity to approximately 21.5 mppa. Phase 2 would involve construction of new Terminal 2 and associated facilities to increase airport capacity to 27 mppa. Then a later further phase would be more expansion of Terminal 2, to increase to 32 mppa. Opponents of the airport’s growth say the latest consultation is “a huge waste of public money”. The level of aircraft noise in 2019 was severe, and residents are horrified of it becoming even worse – as well as the local congestion etc. It makes no sense to encourage aviation expansion, when the UK must cut its carbon emissions, fast.
Consultation ends 4th April 2022
Consultation form is at
Views sought on major London Luton Airport expansion
9 FEB, 2022
BY ROB HORGAN (New Civil Engineer)
London Luton Airport’s expansion plans have gone out to public consultation, with the airport operator seeking feedback on proposals to increase capacity to 32M passengers per year.
Proposals put forward by airport owner Luton Rising [the new name the company that owns Luton airport has started using] involve expanding the existing terminal, building a second terminal and making best use of the existing runway.
It comes after the local council signed off on plans to increase passengers from 18M per year to 19M in December.
The next stage of expansion would be delivered in two phases. The first phase would see the expansion of Terminal 1 and associated facilities to increase capacity to approximately 21.5M passengers per annum.
Phase two, meanwhile, would involve construction of new Terminal 2 and associated facilities to increase airport capacity to 27M passengers per annum.
Consultation documents add that there will later be further expansion of Terminal 2 and associated facilities to increase to 32M per year.
Luton Rising chair Javeria Hussain said: “Our proposals reflect the sustainability values, both of Luton Rising, and our sole shareholder, Luton Council.
“We want to maximise the social and economic benefits of growth and firmly believe there is a way to grow an airport in a sustainably responsible way.”
He added: “Our consultation sets out how we propose to achieve this. Sustainability is about more than environmental issues – it’s social and economic impacts too. Our airport is a vital part of the economic ecosystem of the region and beyond, directly and indirectly supporting tens of thousands of jobs.
“The proposed expansion will generate thousands more jobs and an extra £1 billion in economic activity in Luton and the neighbouring counties. We want more local people to be able to access these jobs, so our proposals also include an extensive Draft Employment and Training Strategy to make that possible.”
Campaigners fighting against the expansion of London Luton Airport say the latest consultation is “a huge waste of public money”.
Andrew Lambourne of Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), said: “The last thing people who live in this area want, having been barraged by a constant stream of ever-noisier flights, clogged roads and standing room only on trains, is the prospect of the situation getting far worse than that.”
Meanwhile, work to connect the airport to the Luton Parkway train station via an autonomous rai link continues to gather pace ahead of its opening later this year.
As previously reported by NCE, work to fit out the stations is nearing completion, with ventilation fans and cabling being installed in the tunnel section of the Luton’s Direct Air-Rail Transit (Dart) project.
The Dart has been constructed to allow it to be easily extended should Luton Airport’s expansion progress.
Campaigners hit back at latest plans for expansion of London Luton Airport
Consultation has now opened on plans to increase passenger numbers to 32 million a year
By Lynn Hughes (Luton today)
8th February 2022,
Campaigners fighting against the expansion of London Luton Airport say the latest consultation is “a huge waste of public money”.
The consultation, which launched today (Tuesday), is for plans to increase the number of passengers flying out of the airport, from the current 18 million a year, to 32 million.
Luton Rising, the owners of the airport, want to build a new terminal and make the best use of the existing runway.
But speaking on behalf of local communities who say they have been badly impacted by the airport, Andrew Lambourne of LADACAN (Luton And District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said: “The last thing people who live in this area want – having been so badly affected in 2019 by a constant stream of ever-noisier flights, clogged roads and standing room only on trains – is the prospect of the situation getting far worse than that.
“Rather than economic benefit, it could blight the area. No effective mitigations have been put in place, and people are utterly fed up with the reckless commercial greed being shown.”
He went on: “This plan continues to invest in the past rather than creating a more sustainable local economy.
“Kerosene-fuelled passenger aircraft aren’t magically going to be replaced overnight; so called sustainable fuels are very expensive and use biomass essential for other purposes; planting young trees is not going to solve the climate crisis; and Luton needs a more diverse local economy rather than just constantly returning to the obsessive vision of a decade ago. The world has moved on, and Luton Airport’s owners need to think differently. Look at their lack of resilience: the airport owning company was almost bankrupted by COVID, the town brought to its knees, and hundreds of millions of pounds of debt has been run up. The vision for the future needs to change.”
Launching the consultation last week Councillor Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, said: “Our proposals will reflect the sustainability values, both of Luton Rising, and our sole shareholder, Luton Council. We want to maximise the social and economic benefits of growth and we firmly believe there is a way to grow an airport in a sustainably responsible way.
“We set out details on how we propose to achieve that in our consultation. Sustainability is about more than environmental issues – it’s social and economic impacts too. Our airport is a vital part of the economic ecosystem of the region and beyond, directly and indirectly supporting tens of thousands of jobs. The proposed expansion will generate thousands more jobs and more than a £1 billion increase in economic activity in Luton and the neighbouring counties. We want more local people to be able to access these jobs, so our proposals also include an extensive Draft Employment and Training Strategy to make that possible.
“Our airport is the most socially impactful in the UK. Since 1998, we have contributed £257 million to support frontline services, and since 2002, we have contributed £155 million to support local community organisations and charities – 20x per passenger more than any other UK airport. These organisations help make life-transforming changes for people, and our proposals include the new Community First fund, which will allow for much greater support for community projects in Luton and the neighbouring counties impacted by airport operations.”
But campaigners say plans for the latest consultation have already cost the airport more than £40 million. They say the plan is “a huge waste of public money” given the current expansion plan has not yet been completed, there is uncertainty about future demand in light of climate change, and lack of progress with vital airspace modernisation.
John Hale for STAQS (St Albans Quieter Skies), said: “When Luton Airport got permission to expand to 18 million passengers, residents were promised action would be taken to alleviate the noise nuisance – but since then the situation has worsened. Now the airport owner wants to increase the noise and environmental damage this Airport already causes. It is time to say NO to further expansion and to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on this scheme.”
The detailed proposals, consultation materials and the virtual consultation room are now live on the website at lutonrising.org.uk
The Luton Rising website
“This is your chance to have your say about Future LuToN, our proposal to expand London Luton Airport’s maximum passenger capacity to 32 million, building a second terminal, and making best use of our single runway.
Our proposals include changes made to the scheme since the previous consultation in 2019. We now want your feedback on our updated proposals before we submit our application for development consent.
The full set of boards and videos, as seen at the in-person consultations, can be seen in the virtual exhibition room”.
Local MP, Bim Afolami, and community groups ask Gove to call-in Luton expansion plans
December 15, 2021
Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has called on the government to review plans to allow for a million more passengers per year through Luton Airport, rising from 18 million to 19 million. On 2nd December, Luton Borough Council (which owns the airport and decides its planning applications) approved the airport’s expansion plans and varying the noise conditions it operates under. Now Bim Afolami has asked Communities Secretary Michael Gove, at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to “call-in” the decision. The DLUHC says it would consider requests for a call-in, taking the decision from the council, to government. This is usually when an application has wider impacts than just the local area, which Luton’s extra flights definitely would. Another reason for call-in is if an application conflicts with a national policy – climate in this case. Bim said the decision to approve the expansion “completely ignores the environmental and cross-boundary impact”. Local groups, including the Luton and District Association for Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN) and Harpenden Sky, have also written to the Minister asking for call-in.
Luton Council approves plans for Luton to increase from 18 to 19 mppa
In February, Luton airport submitted a planning application to Luton Borough Council (its owner) to increase the annual cap on passenger throughput from 18m to 19mppa. Also to expand the day and night noise contours by 11.3% and 15.3% respectively until 2028. Now Luton Borough Council has approved the plan to increase to 19 million – and the plans to change the noise contours, to the huge disappointment of many local groups already negatively affected by aircraft noise. The Council said this application did not affect the airport’s long term proposals to increase capacity to 32 million per year, which would be determined by government, through a DCO, not the council. The airport is owned by a company that has changed its name to Luton Rising – and that is owned by Luton Council. How well the airport will do in future years is unknown, with the impact of Covid, targets for aviation to become “carbon neutral” and growing awareness of the climate impact of air travel. Luton’s passenger numbers dropped almost 70% between 2019 and 2020 due to Covid.
Luton airport continuing to be a financial drain (maybe £550 million+) to owners Luton Council
In the last few days, the company (owned by Luton Borough Council) that owns Luton Airport, has changed its name from London Luton Airport Ltd, to “Luton Rising”. That will be its trading name. The company that operates the airport is London Luton Airport Operations. London Luton Airport Operations has obtained agreement from Luton Rising that it can retain £45 million over three years. This will support the airport’s recovery from the pandemic. The money would have been paid by the operator to Luton Rising (ie. the council) if it had not been for the impact of Covid reducing passengers and flights. Luton council usually, pre-Covid, made a good profit from the airport, but that has now been reversed. The Council in 2019 receiving a £19.1m, and £15.8m servicing debt. In September 2020 there was a £60m loan by Luton Borough Council to its airport company and it was expected that another £23 million would be paid. Then in June 2021 Luton Council loaned a further £119m to the airport. Now this is another £45 million, over three years. The airport is not looking like a great investment for the council …