Luton airport delays expansion plans, due to…

Luton airport delays expansion plans, due to Covid and stated intention to be “greener”
2020-06-18 15:59:00
In 2019 Luton airport put out plans to expand, from 18 million passenger per year, (mppa) up to 32 million. This expansion, being over 10 mppa, needs to go through the Development Consent Order (DCO) route, rather than a normal planning application.  The airport is owned by Luton Borough Council which is also the local authority that should regulate it.  Now with a massive decline in air travel demand, due to Covid, Luton airport has decided to delay the process, and not submit its DCO this summer, as originally intended, but in 2021. It claims it wants to be more “green” with less environmental impact, etc etc (tricky with so many more passengers and flights, and thus more noise, more CO2,  more air pollution and more congested surface transport). Local opposition groups are pleased about the delay, as is Hertfordshire County Council, which is against the plans due to the adverse noise impact. Luton is too dependant on the airport, and so has suffered from the loss of jobs, and income from the airport, due to the pandemic. It would be wiser to delay until there is clarity on the government policy on aviation carbon, in its ambition of aiming for zero carbon by 2050. .Tweet   Luton Airport expansion application delayed as focus shifts to delivering ‘greener model’ 17 June 2020 By  Georgia Barrow The application to expand Luton Airport has been delayed, as the company looks to make it the “UK’s most sustainable airport over the next 20 years”. Luton airport is working on creating a greener development model for its expansion plans before submitting an application. Campaign groups and Herts County Council have welcomed the news of the delay, which comes as the aviation industry faces uncertainty amid the coronavirus outbreak. London Luton Airport Ltd’s new approach says it recognises the challenges of delivering a greener development model for an expanded airport in Luton, and supporting essential economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for the region and the UK. A Development Consent Order application to support expansion of the airport from 18 to 32 million passengers per year is now expected to be submitted to the government during 2021, rather than in summer 2020 as originally outlined. Cllr Andy Malcolm, who is chair of LLAL and also Luton Council’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “We are an airport owner entirely focused on supporting and improving people’s lives, and driving economic and employment growth, both in Luton and neighbouring communities. “Since the second public consultation on our expansion proposals late last year, we have been listening carefully to feedback and a clear message that people want us to go even further to mitigate environmental issues, including noise, air quality and particularly climate change which has become significantly more important to people since our first consultation. “We are also acutely aware that COVID-19 has sadly impacted on every area of people’s lives and wellbeing, and the effects on aviation have been stark. “We are confirming that we want to set out a plan for how London Luton can build on its position as arguably the most socially conscious airport in the UK by also becoming its most sustainable. “This is the right thing to do to support Luton, the region and the environment. We are instructing our teams now to invest all the time they need to work up the proposals in detail.” L

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