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Luton Airport revamps expansion plans


12 June 2020

Luton Council’s airport company London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) is reworking its environmental policies – including on public transport – to support an application for capacity expansion.

The additional work is partly the result of the Appeal Court’s ruling in February that quashed the Government’s airports National Policy Statement for failing to take account of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 (LTT 06 Mar).

Luton has now delayed its Development Consent Order application for powers to expand capacity from 18 to 32 million passengers a year. It is now expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate during 2021, rather than this summer.

Councillor Andy Malcolm, the chair of the airport and Luton Council’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “Since the second public consultation on our expansion proposals late last year, we have been listening carefully to feedback and a clear message that people want us to go even further to mitigate environmental issues, including noise, air quality and particularly climate change, which has become significantly more important to people since our first consultation.”

He added: “We are confirming today that we want to set out a plan for how London Luton can build on its position as arguably the most socially conscious airport in the UK by also becoming its most sustainable. We are instructing our teams now to invest all the time they need to work up the proposals in detail.”

Graham Olver, the airport’s chief strategy officer, said: “Our task will involve both reimagining our proposals for expansion, and working closely with the support of our operator and other partners to look at how the airport and existing infrastructure in Luton operates today.”

The airport is considering how expansion will meet the terms of both the Paris Agreement and recommendations of the Government’s Committee on Climate Change.

Said Olver: “Our work will be crucial to support Luton Council’s target to deliver a zero-carbon town by 2040, significantly ahead of the Government’s target for the UK as a whole.

“We know a key ingredient will be to work with many partners including the council, highways authorities and public transport providers on an integrated and sustainable public transport system serving the area around the airport.”

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