1. ITV Report

Airport celebrates 75 year anniversary

Planes at Luton Airport Photo: ITV News Anglia

One of our region's busiest airports is celebrating it's 75th anniversary today.

Luton Airport was opened back in 1938 and a special thanksgiving service will take place later this afternoon to mark the milestone.

It's now the 5th largest airport in the UK and carries around ten million passengers every year.

Key dates in London Luton Airport's history:

· Officially opened by the Right Honourable Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for Air, and John Thomas Harrison, Mayor of Luton, on 16th July 1938

· Luton was used by the RAF as a base for 264 Fighter Squadron during WWII

· The Percival Aircraft Company built a series of civil and military aircraft - including the Mosquito fighter bomber - "The Wooden Wonder" under licence from De Havilland

· During the 1950's & 1960's - the birth of 'package holidays' enabled many to travel abroad for the first time

· By 1969, a fifth of all holiday flights from the UK departed from Luton Airport

· By 1972, the Airport was UK's most profitable

· In 1985, a new international terminal building was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales

· In 1990, Luton International Airport was renamed London Luton Airport to reflect its true standing in the London airport network

· In 1995, the Airport pioneered the concept of 'low cost' or 'no frills' flying by becoming the first UK base for easyJet

· In 1999, an £80 million development programme was completed, including a new £40 million terminal building opened by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh