Harpenden campaigners accuse Luton Airport of ignoring ‘major sources’ of pollution

Harpenden campaigners have accused Luton Airport of ignoring major sources of pollution. Picture: Lu

Harpenden campaigners have accused Luton Airport of ignoring major sources of pollution. Picture: Luton Airport - Credit: Archant

Harpenden campaigners are concerned that greenhouse gas emissions from Luton Airport are causing significant harm to the environment.

Campaign group Harpenden Sky believes the impact of carbon dioxide, the largest greenhouse gas, is not being addressed by Luton Airport or Luton Borough Council as part of the airport's expansion plans.

The borough council is proposing to expand the airport to accommodate 32 million passengers per year, which campaigners fear will increase pollution from the associated traffic.

St Albans Green Cllr Simon Grover said: "Luton Airport and the borough council are completely ignoring the major sources of pollution from the airport operations - namely, the planes on the ground and the cars bringing people to and from the airport.

"It's essential that the authorities measure this pollution and act to reduce it."

Harpenden Sky has accused the borough council of not measuring the road traffic impact on CO2 levels, and said that the council's airport company London Luton Airport Limited's (LLAL) annual monitoring report only refers to particulates and nitrogen dioxide generated on site, which are a relatively small contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

For National Clean Air Day on Thursday, June 20, however, LLAL announced that they have commissioned an air-quality monitoring 'supersite' in Wigmore Park, which will monitor a greater range of air pollutants than any other UK airport. These include nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and more, but not carbon dioxide.

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Cllr Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL, said: "We are absolutely committed to developing our proposals in the right way, in particular by making sure that sure our strategies for minimising and mitigating environmental impacts are the very best they can be, and fully consulting with communities.

"We have already brought into operation the most comprehensive air quality monitoring of any major UK airport, and separately are working to complete the £225m Luton DART that will significantly improve the rail journey to London Luton Airport and deliver a step change in how passengers get to and from the terminal with the aim of reducing the proportion of journeys undertaken by private cars."