Luton airport to tackle air capacity shortage in SE England

15th February 2012

As Heathrow boss announces the crippling effects of the air capacity deficit in south-east England, Luton airport releases plans to double in size

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, has voiced fears that capacity constraints are, “damaging the UK economy when the country can least afford it.”

Heathrow has recently slipped to the world's fourth busiest airport, and bosses say it is unable to take on new routes and is already working at 99% capacity.

"Business leaders in the world's fastest-growing economies say they are put off investing in the UK because of a lack of direct flights.” warns Matthews.

In stark contrast, Luton airport seeks to reduce the looming capacity crisis by releasing plans to double in size. The project, known as Future Luton: Optimisation, will boost the airport's capacity by 47% to accommodate 18 million passengers a year.

Unusually, no additional runways are planned. Instead, better road access, increased car parking, enhanced terminals and aircrafts as well as extended taxis, aprons, piers and parking stands are being proposed.

The development is stage one of a two part programme to eventually increase Luton airport's capacity to 30 million. The plans for stage one have been released as part of a six week community consultation to convince locals of the benefits of the build.

If plans go ahead, London Luton airport will attract new airlines and new destinations for the British traveller as well as better connections to the UK for visiting tourists.

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