The Secretary of State for Transport has officially opened London Luton Airport’s newly-upgraded terminal.
Rt Hon Chris Grayling marked the completion of LLA’s three-year transformation project on Thursday. The £160m redevelopment focused on making passengers’ journeys easier and quicker, with improvements being made in the terminal and to the ways in which people get to and from the airport.
The transformation will increase its annual capacity by 50% to 18 million passengers by 2020.
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “London Luton’s investment firmly puts passengers at the heart of development and will improve the experience of those using the airport for business or holidays. Supporting thriving airports like London Luton will form a part of the Government’s Aviation 2050 consultation, ensuring the benefits of transformation are felt across the local area.”
Since work began passenger numbers have increased by 25%, making it London’s fastest growing airport, with more than 16.5 million passengers expected to fly in 2018.
Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “2018 has been a milestone year for LLA. We celebrated our 80th anniversary in the summer and now we have completed our three-year transformation which brings a host of benefits to passengers. We are the fastest-growing major London airport and are now in a position to play an increasingly important role in the UK’s aviation network.”
There are 30 new stores at the airport, over 1,000 more seats, a new boarding pier with eight extra boarding gates, an expanded security search area and a new dual carriageway, bus interchange and multi-storey car park.
Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, said: “Today is a very exciting day not just for the airport but also for Luton. The significant improvements not only bring benefits for the passenger but also for the local economy. I’m grateful to all those who’ve worked on this major redevelopment and look forward to the remaining pieces of the jigsaw, like the DART, helping London Luton Airport grow from strength to strength.”
The leader of Luton Council, cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, said: “The operator’s successful transformation programme is another pivotal moment in London Luton Airport’s development. Together with our own investment in the £225m Luton DART, a world-class passenger experience is being created and setting the bar for how our own airport company wants to take the airport’s growth forward in a responsible way and ensure that everyone can benefit from the economic and social opportunities this will create.”
Johan Lundgren, CEO, easyJet, said: “As the largest airline operating to and from London Luton Airport, we are excited that the airport’s transformation will benefit the seven million easyJet customers who use the airport every year. This transformation project was a key factor in our commitment to long term growth at the airport, so it’s great to see its completion.”
Justin Richardson, Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “The culmination of LLA’s redevelopment marks a significant moment for the local community, which is set to benefit from the creation of 10,000 new jobs. The redevelopment will also increase the airport’s economic contribution to the local economy to £1.4 billion by 2030, allowing local residents to share in the benefits of a fast-growing and successful international airport.”