Luton Airport noise to be scrutinised at St Albans meeting

An Easyjet plane lands at Luton airport

An Easyjet plane lands at Luton airport - Credit: Archant

While Luton Airport boasts of record growth in passenger numbers and expansion of its routes, noise pollution for those on the ground is a mounting concern.

Residents in St Albans have been encouraged to submit questions to airport chiefs about intrusive airplane noise, as they will be attending a meeting of the district council’s scrutiny committee meeting next Tuesday, March 22.

Committee chairman Cllr Anthony Rowlands said: “For many people living near the airport, or under the flight paths, the noise of passenger jets and other planes is a great concern.”

He said that with Luton recently beginning a major expansion, “committee members, especially those with wards affected by noise, will be extremely interested to hear what they have to say.

“We will be interested to find out what they will do to combat noise in the future.”

Cllr Rowlands added: “As this is a highly topical issue, we are also engaging residents by giving them the chance to put the executives on the spot by having us ask any questions they may have.”

He is hoping for ‘quite a response’.

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Luton Airport has regularly issued press releases boasting of record growth in passenger numbers and routes – despite the fact that its expansion project has not been completed.

In December 2013 its owner, Luton borough council, approved a near-doubling of passenger throughput to 18 million a year in spite of objections from local campaigners and 11 neighbouring authorities, including St Albans and Herts county councils.

In September last year, the airport awarded its first major redevelopment contract, appointing Whitemountain to deliver the first phase of its £110 million project.

This includes having the existing approach road to the terminal building turned into a dual carriageway, the redevelopment of the short stay car parks, and on-airport road network.

That same month saw a 19.2 per cent increase in passenger numbers on the same month in 2014.

In November 2015, 850,000 people flew through Luton, an increase of 23.6 per cent compared with the same period the previous year.

Last month saw over 870,000 passengers carried by the airport, a 27.7 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, marking 23 consecutive months of growth at Luton.

Meanwhile, six further new routes have been confirmed for the summer schedule.

Nick Barton, the airport’s chief executive officer, said the airport was “continuing to grow at an astounding pace”.

• Questions for Luton Airport executives should be sent to by noon on Tuesday March 22.