WEEK FIVE: Luton Airport alternative proposals ‘as bad’ as original

16:26 19 March 2012

Luton Airport

Luton Airport

Archant

AN ALTERNATIVE proposal for an expansion of Luton Airport has been announced, but it is believed that it would still have a negative impact on those living underneath the flightpath.

London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL), the company which is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the airport, has submitted its own expansion proposals, and has suggested increasing passenger numbers to 15m annually by 2028.

The company is completely separate from London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL), which is owned by Luton Borough Council (LBC). It is LLAL that has submitted the proposals to double the capacity.

Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion (HALE), a group formed especially to fight the expansion, has been busy analysing plans by LLAOL, and believes that people need to be as wary of these proposals as they are of LLAL’s.

Spokesman Andrew Lambourne said: “It boils down to 100 extra planes a day, 16,000 more passenger journeys to and fro, probably more night flights, longer peak hours, a plane every 90 seconds at peak, heavier and more noisy planes, more pollution and more overflights.

“Even though it may be less numbers than LBC, this could get in under the radar because it looks warmer and fuzzier.

“I think the key concerns are that it could be passed unnoticed, and that people won’t realise what it all means.

“We’ve summarised it down to the real nib of it, and it’s just as bad as the plan from LBC.”

LLAOL has said that it does not believe it is possible to deliver more than 15 million passengers per annum given the current size of the airport.

But LLAL’s proposal exceeds this by three million. The company has also said that it may apply in the future to increase the airport capacity to 30m passengers per annum.

• For more stories in our Luton Airport expansion campaign, click the link in the top right-hand corner.

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