Luton Airport took off when concrete replaced grass runway

Luton Airport runway opening in 1960

Luton Airport runway opening in 1960

Luton Airport was officially opened on July 16, 1938, but it was another 22 years before it had a concrete runway.

A new control tower opened in 1952, yet growth was slow until Customs facilities were obtained in 1962 and package holidays abroad became popular.

As the grass runways were inadequate for modern traffic, a 5,000-feet concrete runway was built in 1960 and it was later extended.

The 1975 edition of the book The Story Of Luton said: “The main use of the airport now is for independent airline operators providing charter inclusive holiday tours, but there are numerous scheduled services. There is some freight traffic and a number of executive aircraft belonging to private firms.

“The airport will undoubtedly play an increasing part in Luton’s future development.”

Passenger numbers rose from 5,000 in 1960 to 213,000 in 1965, 3.2million in 1974 and nearly ten million today.




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