Operator’s airport plans are announced

PROPOSALS to expand Luton Airport to accommodate 16 million passengers a year have been announced by the company that runs it.

London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL) is contracted to run the airport until 2028, unless Luton Borough Council decides to part company with it when a ‘break clause’ comes up in 2014.

The company that manages the airport on behalf of the council, London Luton Airport Limited, announced its own proposals earlier this year to expand the airport to 18 million passengers.

Planning applications for both schemes are likely to be lodged in April.

Glyn Jones, managing director of LLAOL, said, “As the operator of London Luton we have trebled the number of passengers using the airport from 3.4 million passengers in 1998 to 10 million passengers today, and have a credible plan to grow one of the region’s major assets over the next 15 years.

“We share the council’s ambition to expand the airport and increase passenger numbers, but believe this should be done in a sustainable way which does not overbuild capacity, is sensitive to the environment, improves the experience of passengers, and creates secure jobs.”

Included in the plans are two new traffic lanes to the south of Airport Way and a new set-down system, a taxiway extension and changes to the terminal.

Asked about the break clause, Mr Jones said: “No decision has been made by the council to break the concession.

“We have an awful lot in common – everybody wants to see a bigger, better airport.

“If they do there will be a termination payment. We don’t know what that number will be but at the moment it looks like it’s in several hundred million pound bracket.”