London Luton Airport has announced it will seek to increase the capacity of the property to 18 million passengers per year using the one existing runway.
The operator estimates the development could create up to 6,000 new jobs and generate millions of pounds of investment.
The airport’s current maximum capacity is estimated at 11.5 million passengers per annum and 9.6 million passengers are expected to use the airport this year.
Government forecasts show an air travel capacity shortage in the south-east of England by 2020 and the proposed 57 per cent growth at Luton can be achieved within the airport’s existing boundary and using the existing runway.
LLA also wants to improve passengers’ experience from this London airport.
A project called ‘futureLuToN:Optimisation’ was today introduced to the airport’s consultative committee representing local residents, councils and community groups.
A pre-planning application public consultation will begin on Monday February 6th when plans will be presented in Luton and around the wider area.
A dedicated website will also be launched for interested parties to view proposals and provide their feedback on the airport’s future plans.
LLAL will work hard to make stakeholders and people most affected aware of the plans and secure their views and comments.
The four-week consultation process will run until 5 March and will include a series of public exhibitions around the region.
The project seeks to optimise the capacity of the existing airport and LLAL will consider what modifications and improvements will be required.
This will include consideration of areas including the aircraft taxiways, aprons, piers and parking stands, the road network, airport car parking and the passenger terminal.
Robin Harris, chair LLA, the company that owns the airport on behalf of Luton Borough Council said: “We are at the very beginning of a journey that builds on the tremendous success we have seen through the last decade and will ultimately bring huge benefits to Luton and the wider region - with jobs and much-needed income.
“We will consult actively and listen carefully ahead of submitting a planning application to enhance this important people’s asset but we must be ready to embrace market demand in the future.
“The need for additional airport capacity in the South-East of England and the enormous growth that low-cost carriers have demonstrated in recent years gives us every confidence that London Luton Airport will continue to become ever-more attractive to both existing and new airlines.”
London Luton Airport is the UK’s fifth biggest airport.
It is a headquarters for easyJet and is a major base for Wizz Air, Ryanair and Monarch.