Luton Airport Expansion – Response to Consultation

10 Apr, 2022

Luton is one of many UK airports with plans to expand and significantly increase their maximum passenger capacity. Named ‘Luton Rising’, it plans to increase capacity from 18 to 32 million passengers per year (a 78% increase). 

Like Bristol and Gatwick in 2021, we responded with the same firm position on airport expansions. 

It is not the time for business-as-usual expansion. Over the next few years, we need a complete transformation of the industry to align with climate science and be able to keep flying into the future. Changing the way we fly will require huge amounts of investment and create many long-term jobs to convert infrastructure, airports, aircraft and airlines. 

There is no long-term security for business-as-usual investments. Airport expansions cost a huge amount of money. Due to the imminent threat of climate change, there is no long-term security that can guarantee returns on these investments. Additionally, investment is required for industry transformation. So money wasted on business-as-usual expansion instead is a threat to the industry, investors and workers. We may end up with stranded assets. 

Any loss of investment and returns for investors is ultimately a huge threat to jobs. The truth is we don’t know how much conventional-aircraft flying will be possible long-term and therefore short-term job promises are misleading. We risk increasing the number of jobs now and witnessing a greater job crash in the near future. 

Investment is required to transform the industry and protect jobs. The UK already flies more than most countries. It is our responsibility to set an example for other highly polluting countries. Airport expansion goes against our commitments to the Paris Agreement of equity, fairness and common-but-differentiated responsibilities. 

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Read about Luton Rising here:

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