Luton Airport hosting Parliament exhibition
- Credit: Archant
Luton Airport is hosting a week-long exhibition at the Palace of Westminster in celebration of its 80th birthday.
The celebration began with a reception at the House of Commons on Monday (January 29), which was attended by ministers and MPs including Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg.
The airport is currently undergoing a £150 million transformation to increase its annual capacity to 18 million passengers by 2020, which has met with consternation from aircraft noise campaign groups in St Albans and Harpenden who are concerned this will increase noise pollution for those living underneath flight paths.
Luton Airport CEO Nick Barton said: “The airport has come a long way in 80 years. The exhibition celebrates our history, but also looks to the future, as this anniversary year will see some of the airport’s biggest changes.”
In 2017, the airport saw more passengers than ever before, with 1.58 million travelling through the aiport, an 8.6 per cent increase from 2016.
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This year, a newly-extended terminal building will be opened, and construction will begin on a new Mass Passenger Transit (MPT) system, which is being delivered by Luton borough council. Once complete, the MPT will operate 24 hours a day and replace the current shuttle bus between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal.
In addition, Luton Airport is calling for four trains per hour to stop at Luton Airport Parkway as part of the new East Midlands Rail Franchise.
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Mr Barton added: “To ensure the airport thrives for another 80 years, we need to ensure rail links are as strong as they can be. We have that opportunity as part of the East Midlands rail franchise, which allows us to create an express-style rail service to the airport through a simple timetable change.”
Andrew Lambourne, chair of campaign group LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) said: “Using public transport rather than thousands of road journeys to and from this badly-located airport does at least seek to reduce carbon emissions – however the proposed massive increase in flights will just pile them on again. Government and industry needs to achieve a reduction in noise and greenhouse gas pollution from aviation with joined-up holistic thinking.”