‘Don’t let Brexit affect our airport’

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The leader of Luton Borough Council plans to ‘prompt’ the Prime Minister to protect Luton Airport against the impact of Brexit – despite Luton residents voting in favour of leaving the EU.

Councillors will consider the motion signed by Cllr Hazel Simmons next Wednesday during their full council meeting.

The motion calls on LBC’s chief executive Trevor Holden to write to Prime Minister Theresa May, transport secretary Chris Grayling and Brexit secretary David Davis.

According to the motion, the letter would state the “council’s concern at the potential Brexit has to negatively affect UK aviation” and asks the government to “take prompt action to provide security to the sector”.

It also states: “The council notes, with concern, the impact that any changes to current arrangements could have.

“It calls upon the government to secure a new European aviation deal as quickly as possible following the invocation of Article 50... to achieve the same rights as are in place presently.”

56.5% of Luton residents voted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum, but LBC notes that between July and September 2016, 81% of passengers flying from Luton were travelling to another EU country.

Other economic factors include major players such TUI, EasyJet and Monarch who all have headquarters in Luton. 9,000 people are directly employed by Luton airport and a further 27,000 are supported in their employment by it.

In their appeal

Luton Borough Council notes that since 1995 the airport has grown from carrying 1.8m to 14.5m passengers each year and is currently the UK’s fastest growing airport, contributing £1.27 billion to UK economy. The council claims it plays a key role in delivering the aviation needs of London and the South East.

The motion adds: “Airlines based in Luton have benefitted from arrangements that allows an airline based in one EU country the freedom to operate in another EU country without impediment.”