London Luton Airport’s expansion plans are finally approved, meaning an extra 45,000 flights will be made each year.
According to lutontoday.co.uk, the airport’s capacity will be increased to 18 million passengers a year, up from the 12 million it serves now. Last year, around 9.7 million passengers passed through London Luton’s doors, making it the UK’s fifth largest airport.
A number of changes will be made as part of the expansion, but the biggest aspect will be the modernisation of the airport terminal. As many as 20 security passenger and 15 immigration screening lanes will be added, as well as a new two-storey pier. Nine new passenger reclaim belts will be constructed – one domestic and eight international. Plus the number of shops, restaurants and seating areas will increase. To cope with the extra passengers, a new multi-storey car park will be built too.
Glyn Jones, managing director of the airport, says the expansion will provide significant opportunities for the local economy.
“We see this as a real vote of confidence in the airport and its future, underlining the determination of our new owners, Ardian and Aena, to develop and radically improve London Luton and deliver a better airport experience for our passengers in the years to come,” he explains.
The plans were originally backed by Luton Council in December last year, but it has taken so long to get the go ahead because communities secretary Eric Pickles wanted to review the proposals himself, reports bbc.co.uk.