Our ambition to be the UK’s greenest and most socially responsible airport owner

Update on our expansion proposals

Welcome to the website for our proposed long-term and sustainable growth of London Luton Airport.

We are London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL), the Luton Council company that owns but does not run London Luton Airport, and we call this project Future Luton.

To date, we have conducted two public consultations on our proposals. The second of these was a statutory consultation which took place in autumn 2019 and sought feedback on how we proposed to deliver a second terminal and associated infrastructure to deliver growth from the airport’s current permitted capacity of 18 million passengers per annum (mppa) to 32 mppa by 2041.

As previously announced here, since then we have been considering very closely and seriously the feedback we received. We heard in particular a clear message that people want us to go even further to mitigate environmental issues, including noise, air quality and climate change.

We are currently continuing to invest more time to take a fresh look at every aspect of sustainability and the impacts of running an airport. This includes developing an innovative and ground-breaking initiative to ensure that all future growth at Luton can be green growth.

Our approach will set out a path for meeting meet our ambition to become the UK’s most sustainable as well as its number one community airport owner.

It will also help us meet the challenge of responding to other ongoing changing circumstances, supporting essential recovery from the impacts of coronavirus and building back better.

We are an airport owner entirely focused on supporting and improving people’s lives, and driving economic and employment growth, both in Luton and neighbouring communities. We see it as vital that we continue to plan for how prudent investment in our stewardship of the airport can continue to benefit future generations.

We remain committed to engaging with our communities, and intend to undertake a further period of consultation before submitting our application to the Government for a Development Consent Order.

Details will be widely announced in due course.

London Luton Airport and Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the aviation industry. Our focus during these unprecedented times is firmly on supporting staff and all our partners across London Luton Airport, and preparing for a period of recovery and renewed safe travel.

For information on coronavirus you may find the following websites useful:

Our Statutory Consultation on the proposed long-term sustainable growth of London Luton Airport started on 16 October 2019 and closed on 16 December.  The 35 community consultation events were well attended and we have been processing the high volume of feedback received.

It is expected that our application to the government for a Development Consent Order (DCO) will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in 2021. The final decision will rest with the Secretary of State for Transport.

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"We have a unique opportunity as the owner of London Luton Airport to support sustainable growth of the local, sub-regional and national economies, and help meet the significant projected shortfall in aviation capacity in London and the South-East to 2050."

About us

London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) is Luton Council’s airport company which owns London Luton Airport (LTN).

In December 2017, we announced our Vision for Sustainable Growth for the airport from 2020-2050.

Our aims

  • To make best use of the existing runway at LTN to provide the maximum benefit to the local and sub-regional economy
  • To deliver good levels of service
  • To actively manage environmental impacts at the local and wider levels in line with our wider commitment to responsible and sustainable development
  • To support Luton Council in delivering the Luton Investment Framework and its work to eradicate poverty and improve lives
About Project

About our project

LTN is the fifth-busiest airport in the UK. In 2019, it briefly reached its existing permitted capacity of 18 million passengers per annum (mppa).

It is our responsibility to plan for LTN’s long-term future, and ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of this growth.

In our Vision for Sustainable Growth 2020-50, published in December 2017, we outlined that the maximum capacity of the runway could be up to 36-38 mppa. How this might be best achieved was the focus of the consultation we carried out during 2018.

It remains our assessment and aspiration that the airport can deliver these volumes in the longer term.

In our judgment however at this time our preferred option for growth to 32 mppa best reflects our determination to get the balance absolutely right between the economic benefits and environment impacts associated with airport expansion. It is also consistent with feedback people have provided about impacts, such as on road use and green belt land.

This website sets out our continued thinking as to how this growth can be achieved, and details how and when we again asked for your views.

Our proposed development

In February 2019 we announced that we are proposing a new second terminal and associated infrastructure, mainly to the north of the runway.

To compensate for the partial use of Wigmore Valley Park, new parkland and open space would be provided over a larger area to the east of the existing park. This area is 10 per cent bigger than the existing park, and is positioned further away from the runway than at present.

The proposed development safeguards as much land as possible within the existing Wigmore Valley Park, where we propose to deliver significant improvements to facilities in the retained part of the park. It also constrains the extent of development in the green belt to the east of the airport.

This proposal was initially referred to as our ‘preferred option’ and then became the proposed development, which formed the basis for our second public consultation.

Here is the layout of our proposed development, subject to change and ongoing design. Click here to view the full document.

How to find out more

Feedback from Non-Statutory Consultation in summer 2018

In February 2019 we published two technical documents which outlined the feedback received during our summer 2018 consultation, and how our expert advisors had continued to assess the options for development in the light of comments made.

In September 2019, LLAL published a new Sustainability Strategy on its website llal.org.uk. Please click here to view the Sustainability Strategy.

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What is the DCO process?

Our project is of a size and scale that it meets the thresholds to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. That means we must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO). The application will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and decided by the Secretary of State for Transport (not Luton Council).

Mid 2018
Non-Statutory Consultation - initial round of public consultation on the emerging strategic options for making best use of the existing runway in the period up to 2050
Ongoing engagement and feedback review - project team reviews responses to Non-Statutory Consultation while continuing dialogue with local stakeholders, leading to a preferred scheme
Statutory Consultation - statutory consultation on the preferred scheme. Supported by the draft detailed technical and environmental assessments. The consultation has now closed.

Further engagement and feedback review - consideration of all comments provided during consultation, leading to design changes to our scheme.

Examination of DCO application

Recommendation by the Planning Inspectorate to the Secretary of State for Transport

Decision by the Secretary of State for Transport

Why expand the UK’s fifth busiest airport?

There is an opportunity for LTN to play a substantially greater role in the UK aviation market, notwithstanding the proposal for a third runway at Heathrow and the proposed expansion at other London airports.
We estimate that a London Luton Airport handling 32 mppa in 2039 could support delivery of more than 16,000 new jobs.
The contribution of an expanded LTN could provide an additional economic benefit of £1.3 billion every year across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Community benefits

In 2018-19 the dividend payable from LLAL to Luton Council amounted to £20.2m.

Since 2004 we have used our Community Funding Programme to provide more than £120m to local charities and voluntary organisations in Luton and beyond for the benefit of communities impacted by airport operations.

During our Statutory Consultation  in autumn 2019, we also outlined how we propose to develop further the support we provide for our neighbours in communities impacted by airport operations.

Our key considerations

We appreciate that airport operations can have an impact on people and the environment, and acknowledge that communities close to the airport will be affected.

As we develop our scheme, we are looking at the potential impacts that expansion may bring and ways to manage them, as we believe our plans must happen in the right way.

We will look to minimise and, where necessary, mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts.

Land referencing

In summer 2019 we wrote to those residents and organisations who might be affected by our proposals for the expansion of London Luton Airport.

This included people beyond the airport site in areas that may be affected by the construction or operation of the expanded airport.

We have a duty to identify people with a legal interest in property or land in those areas.

The purpose of this exercise, known as 'land referencing', was to identify those parties who are statutory consultees and who we wrote to again as part of our Statutory Consultation.

Enclosed within the letter was a 'land interest questionnaire' (LIQ) which sought confirmation that LLAL has correctly identified the details of all parties concerned.

As part of our duty to identify those with an interest, we then visited any parties who had not returned the questionnaire in order to seek information in person.

Please go to the LLAL website for more information on land referencing or download our guidance sheet here.

Our key objectives

For our airlines

We will enable you
to grow.

For local communities

We will be a better

For our passengers

We will improve choice
and your experience

For local businesses

We will offer greater
opportunities to trade.