London Luton Airport claims to have received hugely postive public feedback to its Masterplan, with 65% of respondents supporting its development plans.
The airport, which handled 9.6 million passengers last year – is aiming to upgrade its facilities to allow it to handle 18mppa by 2031 and, after a period of public consultation, believes that it has local residents on its side.
During the course of the consultation, London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) received a total of 1,360 responses from local, national and international businesses, local residents, local chambers of commerce, trade unions, airline partners, holidaymakers and business passengers.
A total of 884 respondents (65%) said they supported the airport’s development proposals.
According to Abertis-owned LLAOL, they were in favour because of the economic benefits to the region, employment generation associated with the proposals, private inward investment and improvements to the Airport’s infrastructure.
Of the 380 respondents (28%) who said they were not supportive of the Masterplan, the key reasons they gave included the potential impact of increased noise and additional night flights. 94 respondents (7%) said they were undecided.
LLAOL claims to have taken all feedback it received “seriously”, and used it to improve and amend its planning application by adding two further mitigation measures to the six new noise initiatives it has already proposed. They are:
• The introduction of a new quota and aircraft movement limit for night time flights to bring London Luton Airport in line with other, designated UK airports
• A reduction in noise violation limits, and the introduction of a fining system for aircraft breaching these limits, effective from 2014/2015, and not 2018 as was planned.
Luton Airport’s managing director, Glyn Jones, said: “LLAOL has listened to the local community and has put in place a robust plan to deliver a balanced, sustainable development, which offers a number of significant economic and social benefits.
"They include the creation of approximately 5,100 new jobs, increasing value to the local economy, and improving the built environment of the airport”.
A full report on the consultation is contained in LLAOL’s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and is included in the planning application that LLAOL submitted to Luton Borough Council’s Planning Department on November 30, 2012.
The planning application can now be viewed at http://www.eplan.luton.gov.uk (Application reference: 12/01400/FUL).