Plans to expand Luton Airport have been scrapped due to pressure from protesters. The original proposal was for a full length replacement runway to the south of the existing runway and for a new terminal to help cope with the extra 250,000 passengers who walked through their doors last year.
The owners of the airport have said that the development would take too long to make a return on the money that it would cost to build so they are going to focus on the existing airport instead.
It has been predicted that Britain’s airports will increase carbon emissions from the British aviation industry by an estimated 10 million tonnes if they all expand as planned. As a result of this, South Bedfordshire District Council has welcomed this decision as it lessens the potential damage being made to the local environment.
This move is likely to be a disappointment to the government as they have high hopes for increasing airport capacity in the highly congested South – East of England. The airport itself had ambitious plans to triple in size by 2030 as part of a £1.5 billion scheme that would have delivered a new full – length runway in time for the 2012 London Olympics. If it had been successful, the new runway plan could have seen passenger numbers expand from the present 10 million to more than 30 million by 2030.
Local residents were concerned about the noise an extra runway would create and that the town could become unrecognisable as traffic increases and more buildings are built. An extra runway would mean more flights which means more passengers so as a result, more parking at Luton Airport would be needed. As it would become a bigger airport it is also likely that the number of international flights would increase so as well as another short-stay car park, extra facilities for long-term parking at Luton Airport would be needed.
However, it is thought that TBI who operate the airport are set to review plans and publish new framework proposals later this year to develop the site by 2015.
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