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News: Luton plans to double traffic

Plans to expand London Luton (LTN) to handle 32m passengers per annum have been revealed. Managers at the facility located 30 miles north of the capital are aiming 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." A £160m upgrade that increased capacity was completed at the end of last year and 16.6m travellers passed through the terminal during 2018. However, agreements with the local authorities currently limit throughput to 18m ppa.

Substantial expansion is on the cards at London Luton Airport. A second terminal and associated aprons will enable capacity to rise to 32m ppa. (London Luton Airport)

Over the last year several options have been explored to expand LTN. These included a second runway and another terminal on the southern airfield boundary. However, the preferred solution includes a second terminal to the north of the single existing runway. The building, apron, a full-length taxiway and associated infrastructure will be built on existing airport land and part of Wigmore Valley Park. New parkland and open spaces, 10% bigger than the existing park and further from the runway, will be provided to the east. Managers claim that this solution safeguards as much land as possible within Wigmore Valley Park, in which it proposes to significantly improvement facilities. It also avoids development in the local green belt.

The work will also include an extension to the DART (Direct Air Rail Transit), an automated people mover which will link the current terminal to Luton Airport Parkway railway station. The £225m guided light railway is currently under construction with completion of the initial phase expected in 2021, when riders will be able to connection onto the national rail network and reach St. Pancras Station in London in around 30 minutes.

The layout shown above is subject to further refinement, which will be coordinated with local stakeholders. Submission of a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the government and a statutory consultation on the proposals is planned for the autumn of 2019.

Text © The Aviation Oracle

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