London Luton Airport launches public consultation on terminal expansion plans

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Luton Rising, the owner of London Luton Airport in the UK, has proposed a new terminal that would increase the airport’s capacity to 32 million passengers per year.

The proposed expansion is expected to generate more than £1bn (US$1.3bn) additional economic activity in Luton and the neighboring counties. To review this long-term proposal, the operating group has opened a statutory consultation that will run until April 4.

Members of the public will be able to see the proposals and ask questions at 13 in-person consultations. There is also a virtual room available 24/7 throughout the period. The proposals, consultation materials and the virtual consultation room will go live on the airport’s website on the morning of Tuesday, February 8. A list of the consultation events has already been published on the website to give people more time to plan their attendance.

Councilor 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 maximize 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. 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.”

Hussain continued, “Our airport is the most socially impactful in the UK. Since 1998 we have contributed £257m [US$348m] to support frontline services, and since 2002 we have contributed £155m [US$210m] to support local community organizations and charities – 20 times per passenger more than any other UK airport. These organizations 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 neighboring counties impacted by airport operations.”

Graham Olver, chief executive of Luton Rising, said, “These proposals will differ in significant ways from those presented at the previous statutory consultation in 2019. For example, our new green controlled growth framework is at the heart of our sustainability measures, which we believe are some of the most far-reaching ever put forward by a UK airport. It places robust limits on key environmental impacts and will not rely on our good faith to keep to them. They will be legally binding and independently monitored. The views expressed at the 2019 consultation were an important influence on these changes. This is the chance to have your say on our new plans and help us to improve them further.”

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