Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton Airport reveals rival expansion plan

The operator of Luton Airport has published an expansion plan as an "alternative" to a blueprint produced by its council owners.

Passenger numbers are set to rise from the present annual total of 10 million.

The airport's owner, Luton Borough Council, wants to see a rise to 18 million, but the Spanish-owned operator said 15 million is more realistic.

The new plans are based on this target and a strategy to turn Luton into "London's local airport".

Operator, London Luton Airport Operations (LLAOL), said its plans would "avoid over-building capacity, and passing on unnecessary costs to airlines and passengers".

Termination

Plans include the construction of a new pier, an extension of the taxiway to increase the number of aircraft movements plus new and upgrade aircraft stands.

The council said to carry out its proposals it may need to terminate LLAOL's contract before its expiry in 2028.

LLAOL said should there be an early termination, the council would be required to make "significant termination payment to us" running into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Spokesman for the airport Steve Heappey said: "We will be reviewing the proposals from the existing operator, which have now been announced.

"Our consultation launched in February is open until 26 March and we seek and welcome comments, questions and feedback on our proposal to grow London Luton Airport and the benefits that this will bring to Luton and the region."

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