Airport promise “broken” by Luton Borough Council
A key noise control promise published three times in public by the operators of Luton Airport – in their revised Masterplan, Noise Fact Sheet and Planning Application – has been omitted from the planning conditions voted in by Luton Borough Council on 20th December. Click here for more details

Luton Airport expansion plans approved by Luton Borough Council
At a packed meeting on 20th December, half the members of Luton Borough Council’s development control committee voted to accept plans to expand Luton Airport’s capacity, with throughput to be capped at 18 million passengers per year – double the number in 2011.
Click here for more details

HALE represents people who believe that the capacity of Luton Airport should not be expanded any further: “enough is enough”. Luton Airport already flies around 10 million passengers per annum, and operates 100,000 flights each year. Because its location is surrounded by towns and rural villages, the impact of aircraft noise is significant, and is worsening year on year. Trains cannot serve the terminal directly because it is on a hill, so most passengers use cars and taxis, which adds to the crowding on local roads and on the already busy M1.

Due to the position of county boundaries, Luton Airport is an a small promontory of south Bedfordshire which juts down into north Hertfordshire. The airport is owned by Luton Borough Council, which receives significant revenue from the operating concession. However, the low-level arriving and departing flights fly over the towns and villages of north Hertfordshire, which do not receive any direct income from Luton Borough Council. It could be said that Hertfordshire gets the pain, while Luton gets the gain – although noise from arriving and departing flights does affect south Luton.

Commercially, the airport is owned by London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL) which itself is owned by Luton Borough Council. Various Luton Borough Councillors (including people on the Development Control Committee which oversees planning decisions in Luton) act as directors of this company. The operating concession is held by London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) whose major shareholder is Spanish infrastructure group AENA. Essentially Luton Airport is run as a business asset to make money for Luton.

Although the airport runs consultative groups with representation from local councils and campaign organisation, these groups have no jurisdiction over it and no means by which to compel the airport operators to make decisions. The communities impacted by noise, pollution and traffic are represented at committee discussions, but can do little otherwise to change their lot – and often what is an improvement for one community makes matters worse for another.

This website provides news and general information relating to the campaign to restrain the impact of Luton Airport on the affected local communities, and on the objections to the current Planning Application to double the capacity of its operations.

You can contact us using the email address at the top of this page, and by adding your comments to our updates.


Recent Posts

easyJet signs 10-year deal at Luton Airport

easyJet has announced a new 10-year deal with Luton Airport, and foresees passenger expansion from 4 million to 9 million over the next 10 years if the proposed expansion goes ahead, with a 20% growth next year. When asked by HALE about investing in quieter aircraft, easyJet’s Group Commercial Director Cath Lynn confirmed plans to introduce new quieter types by 2017. She also committed to adding new flights in the daytime hours rather than at night.

Nevertheless in light of the serious concerns being expressed about global warming, easyJet’s announcement may be seen as moving in the wrong direction. Aviation’s contribution to greenhouse gases is growing faster than any other source, and is in danger of eclipsing attempts at reduction in other areas (George Monbiot, 2006). Aircraft emissions high in the atmosphere have a greater impact than at ground level.

Last winter’s severe storms, and strong warnings by the UN’s Panel on Climate Change, are a strong signal that the price of yet more cheap flights may turn out to be very high indeed. If aviation growth is to be curbed, a tax on aviation fuel would be a sensible and well overdue measure. At the end of the day, airlines depend on people to fill their seats – and we all need to weigh up whether the true cost is worth it.

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