Govt to review Luton Airport expansion plans


Major expansion plans for Luton Airport are now in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. 

Aeroplane ascending.
by Rory ButlerMarch 28, 2023

The government has agreed to examine Luton Rising’s proposal to increase passenger capacity from 18 million to up to 32 million a year. 

The Development Consent Order (DCO), which spans 25,000 pages and represents more than four years of consultation by the Luton Council company that owns the airport, details vast infrastructural changes to meet that aspiration.   

It is understood the scheme will cost in the region of £2.4 billion. 

What the proposals say  

Consent is being sought for a new terminal, a major package of earthworks to create an extension to the existing airfield platform, and new airside and landside facilities.  

Luton Rising also aims to enhance the surface access network (how people get to and from the airport) and to extend the Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit), an automated guided people mover connecting Luton Airport Parkway station and Luton Airport in Bedfordshire.  

It also wants to further infrastructure enhancements and initiatives to support its target of achieving zero-emission ground operations by 2040.  

The owners mention improved noise insulation plans, as well as binding and independently monitored environmental limits for carbon and air quality.   

What next? 

The Planning Inspectorate has six months to assess the plans, at which point the transport secretary will decide the fate of the proposal. 

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