Councillors deem London Luton Airport expansion plans 'absurd'

10/11/20 luton airport empty departure lounge
People living under the airport's flightpaths say it makes their lives a "misery" Credit: ITV Anglia

Hertfordshire County Council are set to object to plans to expand Luton airport.

Bosses at the airport already has permission to increase passenger numbers to 18 million - but now want to increase numbers further to 19 million a year.

London Luton Airport Operations Limited, the operator of the airport, said the expansion is "focused on making sure the airport has the best possible footing" to bounce back from the pandemic and doesn't require any physical changes to the airport infrastructure.

Passenger numbers have dropped during the pandemic

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Labour leader of Stevenage Borough Council, spoke in support of the county council’s objection to the plans.

"In Stevenage it makes people's lives an utter misery in the summer, when they are trying to sit in their gardens and they have literally got planes coming over every few minutes - very low because we are on the landing path", she said.

"And any more of that - or the expansion that's predicted - would be worse, I think. So we support your objection to that."

That was a view backed by fellow Lib Dem Cllr Sandy Walkington, who said: "In the current climate crisis it is absurd that there is talk of this level of expansion for Luton.

"And as a moral issue I think if there are benefits in access to a cheap airport - to hop-off for European holidays, when that happens again - morally they should accept that they may need to suffer some of the consequences in terms of aircraft noise.

"But just to dump all of the problem onto one small section or line of route seems totally wrong."

Meanwhile Conservative Councillor Stephen Boulton stressed that the airport's plans were looking "10, 20, 30 years into the future."

An objection to the proposals for the expansion will now be drafted and shared with members of the cabinet panel.