The Department for Communities and Local Government, gave approval, to London Luton Airport Operations Ltd and its new owners, Ardian and Aena's £98 million (€115 million) transformation.
The application has been subjected to intense and rigorous scrutiny over the past 12 months from neighbouring councils, independent third party specialists and by the local planning authority, who twice extended the period required to review the plans.
Before the plans were formally submitted, proposals to improve the airport were subject to two public consultations.
The 65% of respondents who took part in the consultation on LLAOL’s development plans said they supported proposals to develop the airport.
They all stated their support for the economic benefits to Luton and the wider region, and the need to generate 5,100 new jobs, including a contribution to a reduction in youth unemployment.
Construction will take place over three phases and see the expansion, modernization and remodeling of the terminal building including:
- Up to 20 security passenger screening lanes.
- 15 immigration passenger screening lanes.
- Up to eight international and one domestic passenger reclaim belts.
- Increased retail, catering, circulation and seating areas.
- A new two-storey pier.
- Dual the road from the Holiday Inn roundabout to a newly configured road system in front of the central terminal area.
- Build a new parallel taxiway to unlock capacity for an additional six million passengers a year from the existing runway.
- Build a new multi-storey car park.
Glyn Jones, managing director of the airport says: “We are delighted that after a thorough process, the council can proceed to grant planning permission for London Luton.
“We see this as a real vote of confidence in the airport and its future, underlining the determination of our new owners, Ardian and Aena, to develop and radically improve London Luton and deliver a better airport experience for our passengers in the years to come.
“The opportunities it brings for the local economy in terms of jobs and investment are significant, and Luton can now press ahead with making its local airport bigger and better, while remaining a good neighbour.”
Spain-based Aena, bought London Luton last year, and hopes to get approval to boost the capacity to up to 18mppa.
It is London's 4th biggest airport and in 2013 handled 9.7 million passengers, but has capacity for up to 12 million.