McLoughlin’s comments came as he officially broke ground on the redevelopment of the passenger terminal at LLA.
The transformation will increase annual capacity at the airport by 50% from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2020.
The Secretary of State’s comments echoed the Airport’s Commission report which emphasised the need for airports other than Heathrow and Gatwick to increase capacity in the short-medium term.
A recent report by independent consultancy Oxford Economics showed that the gateway's £110m transformation, planned with the support of the Department for Transport, will add £1billion to the UK economy and create an extra 10,000 jobs by 2030.
McLoughlin said: “The transformation of London Luton Airport is adding to the UK’s reputation for world class aviation infrastructure.
"Not only will its development help to meet demand for aviation but will also create thousands of jobs.”
According to the airport, passengers will enjoy a very different experience at London Luton once the upgrade is completed in 2020.
It will involve a complete redesign of the terminal to create a quick, efficient, friendly and convenient experience; the doubling of the existing retail space, introducing new exciting shopping and dining options and a new £1 million executive lounge; and doubling the existing capacity in the security search, immigration and baggage reclaim areas.
Also on the cards is a new 1,700 space multi-storey car park; improved transporation links that will include the addition of overnight trains from London St Pancras and the introduction of Oyster card services through to the terminal building.
Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, commented: “As the Secretary of State made clear, expansion at LLA is strategically vital to ensure that we can meet rapidly rising demand for air travel in the South East over the next 15-20 years.
"Our £110 million transformation is also set to give a huge boost to the local economy and will create thousands of new jobs for local people.
“Passengers will benefit from a more efficient, friendly and convenient airport. We’re working hard to improve their experience further by seeking to introduce a dedicated new Express rail service with four fast trains per hour and a fixed link to the terminal from Parkway train station.”