Concerns are raised over airport growth

LUTON Airport’s operating company says it has a “number of concerns” over Luton Borough Council’s plans to expand the terminal and almost double passenger capacity.

London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL), which has a 30-year contract to run the terminal for London Luton Airport Limited, raised several issues regarding the project’s feasibility, environmental impact and jobs, in the wake of the launch of a consultation into the plans on Monday.

LLAOL also issued a warning that airport owners would have to stump up a “very substantial” amount in severance payments if they decide to take advantage of a ‘break clause’ which would allow the 30-year contract to be scrapped in 2014.

A statement issued by LLAOL yesterday asked: “How would this termination payment be funded and are the council’s proposals feasible when the payment is taken into account?”

The statement also questioned whether airlines would have to foot the bill should forecasts for 18million passengers passing through the terminal a year not be met and what level of congestion is acceptable for passengers during peak times given that “only a small amount of new terminal building is planned”.

LLAOL plans to release its own detailed proposal for the expansion of Luton Airport later this month.

A six-week public consultation on the plans, which could create around 6,000 new jobs, kicked off on Monday.

Public exhibitions further detailing plans are being held across Luton and affected areas of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

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