Luton Airport expansion agreement ‘weeks away’

London Luton Airport
London Luton Airport

The planned expansion of Luton Airport will be agreed in the “next few weeks”, according to the president of operator Aena.

Speaking at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday, Jose Manuel Vargas said that the government was close to agreeing the plan, whicb would take capacity from 12 milion to 18 million passengers a year.

The expansion will need as much as £98m investment, which will be used to make a raft of improvements.

Vargas confirmed that he is looking at forming a transport link between the airport and the City of London financial district, while “approaches” to the site are also be examined.

Improvements to the terminal building and range of new shops are also planned as part of the expansion.

Vargas admitted that work on Luton Airport is “critical” to match growth in traffic.

He said: “The contracting of the work will begin as soon as the necessary permits are acquired, after a long and complex process that we hope will come to a positive conclusion in the coming weeks.”

Aena, which owns 46 airports in Spain, bought the airport from Abertis for £394m in August.

Vargas’ announcement came after easyJet revealed its intention to more than double its operation at the airport, should the expansion be agreed.

The airline says this 10 year deal will create 2,500 new jobs and take its own operation from four million to nine million passengers a year.

The airport expansion was agreed by Luton Borough Council in December, but still needs sign off from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.