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Luton Borough Council



The Airport department is headed by Chief Executive Officer Nick Platts and includes a number of teams that are working to ensure the long-term success of London Luton Airport, an asset which is owned by the Council’s airport company Luton Rising, and its recovery from the pandemic.

Luton Rising is well established as the UK’s number one community airport owner. The dividend it provides forms a crucial part of the council’s total income, amounting to more than 20 million (or some 15 per cent) in 2019. Each year the airport company also invests heavily in key voluntary and charitable community services to improve lives in Luton, amounting to 9 million in 2019 and more than 140 million over the last 14 years.

Luton Rising is also setting out new strategies that will enable London Luton to become one of the greenest airports in the UK over the 20 years.

London Luton Airport is operated on a day-to-day basis under a long-term concession agreement, which runs until 2031, by a separate company called London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL). LLAOL is owned by 51 per cent by the Spanish national airports operator Aena, and 49 per cent by the Australian-based investment fund AMP.

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Airport expansion

Economic activity at London Luton Airport is worth 1.1 billion to the national economy every year and supports more than 27,000 local and regional jobs, including at the airport itself, in the supply chain and the wider economy.

The airport reached its permitted capacity of 18 million passengers per year (mppa) in 2019, so Luton Rising wants this to be expanded in phases up to 32 mppa by around 2043. This proposed development would deliver an estimated 1.6 billion economic uplift and around 12,000 new jobs for the area. Luton Rising has already conducted two public consultations and is currently revising its proposals in the light of feedback received to ensure that even more is done to address environmental impacts, and that all future airport growth is green growth.

Luton Rising expects that its Development Consent Order application will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in 2022, and this will ultimately be decided by the Government around a year later.

Luton DART

Luton Rising is currently building a pioneering fast passenger transit system that will provide an extremely reliable, safe and energy-efficient transfer between the mainline Luton Airport Parkway rail station and the airport terminal in well under four minutes.

By removing the need to wait for a longer bus service, the fully-automated and cable-hauled Luton DART will help achieve rail journeys of around 30 minutes between St Pancras International and the airport by the fastest trains.

New Century Park, Bartlett Square and Morton House

Luton Rising has achieved outline planning consent, along with full planning permission for a new access road, for a proposed mixed-use development to the north-east of the airport known as New Century Park that will deliver up to 3,200 new jobs within the SEMLEP London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone.

Luton Rising is also working to deliver around 2,000 more new jobs at another proposed mixed-use development with outline planning consent at Bartlett Square in Kimpton Road, next to the Luton DART station.

As part of this scheme, the airport company has begun refurbishing a disused former part of the Vauxhall factory opposite, now known as Morton House, to provide a new business skills innovation centre and high-quality accommodation for businesses in the performance technology and manufacturing sectors.

Hart House Business Centre

Luton Rising is based at Hart House Business Centre in Kimpton Road, one of a number of strategic locations in the town which the airport company owns and manages. This grade II-listed former headquarters for Vauxhall Motors is also home to a number of other small and medium-sized businesses, with a mix of appealing office spaces available for rent alongside traditional and modern meeting spaces. Luton’s Citizenship Ceremonies also take place here.

Robin Porter’s duties as Luton Council Chief Executive including working with the Leader of the Council as Luton Rising's shareholder representative to the Luton Rising Board.

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ