Luton Airport expansion consultation gets underway
A SIX week consultation on plans to double the capacity of Luton Airport has got underway, but the owner has been criticised for not going into enough detail on the impacts of proposals.
Airport owners London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) and operators London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) want 18m passenger to use the airport annually – double the current number.
Both submitted individual proposals earlier in the year, but after agreeing and signing a new contract, decided to pursue an expansion together.
On Monday, they revealed a masterplan which outlined their plans.
But there has been criticism from campaign groups, who say that these lack substance.
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“The lack of detail is not going to go down well with people who have had the threat of expansion hanging over them for most of this year,” said co-founder of Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion (HALE), Andrew Lambourne.
“People are woken by aircraft at night – they will be disappointed to see no commitment to reducing night flight numbers. There is vague talk of new engines to reduce noise, but no detail whatsoever of whether or when this will happen and what effect it would have.”
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Tim Moss, fellow HALE member, added: “Window dressing has been applied to make the plans look more friendly.
“The levels of noise become intolerable at busy times –they need to be substantially and provably reduced before any talk of airport expansion.”
In their masterplan, the owner and operator say that they will bring unused parts of the terminal back into use, improve the public transport area, and dual the road from the Holiday Inn roundabout along Airport Way to the airport.
They also propose building a new southern pier, creating a new taxiway and extending a further one, and increasing stands where aircraft are parked.
Richard Pilkington, chairman of Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), said “The airport operators
like to describe Luton as London’s local airport – but they forget just how local it is to the homes, schools, sports fields and gardens of the nearby communities which already have more than enough aircraft noise and pollution to cope with.
“Expansion on this scale would have a massive negative impact on a large number of people, quite out of proportion to the supposed benefits to the few.”
The consultation runs until October 12. To make your views known, email email@example.com
Full plans can be seen by visiting www.london-luton.co.uk/masterplan