Luton Airport plans extension of services for 2018
- Credit: Archant
Luton Airport is celebrating its busiest year on record and planning an extension of its services into the new year.
There were 15.7 million passengers at the airport in 2017, marking an 8.6 per cent increase from the previous year. In 2018, the airport will celebrate its 80th anniversary and the official opening of a new terminal building, which will offer passengers new shops and restaurants and eight additional boarding gates.
An increased number of aircraft routes will also launch this year, with Wizz Air announcing eight new routes including Athens, Larnaca in Cyprus, Keflavik in Iceland and Bari in Italy.
EasyJet, which is the airport’s biggest airline, has announced five new routes including Genoa, Italy and Reus in Spain.
London Luton Airport (LLA) chief executive Nick Barton said: “Throughout 2018, passengers will see the airport transformed as we officially open our new terminal and reach the first phase of construction for the Mass Passenger Transit system which will replace the current shuttle bus and create a rapid link between the train station and the terminal.
“However, this is only part of the solution to better public transport links and is why we continue to call on the government for four fast trains per hour between central London and Luton Airport Parkway.”
To help meet increased passenger demand, the airport is investing £150 million to increase its annual capacity by 50 per cent by 2020.
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Andrew Lambourne, of campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), argued that not enough is being done to tackle aircraft noise. He said: “Let’s just remember that they were given permission to increase capacity to 18 million by 2028, NOT by 2020 - and that permission went alongside promises of noise mitigation which have not been delivered.
“This is a celebration of yet more broken promises. The airport has now breached its night noise limit and rather than throttling back until planes are quieter, it wants permission for the planning condition to be ignored - a travesty.
“Let us hope this week’s debate in Parliament on Luton Airport exposes the truth - and we suggest residents contact their MP to urge redress.”