Government must stop further expansion of Luton Airport!

LADACAN actively opposes the plan for massive further expansion of Luton Airport, which will impact quality of life all over the Three Counties and beyond. Local people want to sleep at night; enjoy their gardens or parks; breathe fresh air; see blue sky; drive on the roads not sit in traffic jams; get on the trains; breathe clean air.

Luton Rising incentivised Luton Airport to grow at an accelerated rate between 2014 and 2019 – then used that as a platform to spend more than £65m of public money in a bid to almost double the capacity, with plans to destroy a County Wildlife site at Wigmore Valley Park to build a second terminal and add 70,000 more flights a year. Local people overwhelmingly said NO!

NO to more Noise

Government aviation policy stresses the need for balance between growth and mitigation, and that aviation noise should reduce as capacity increases. Luton Rising, the Airport’s owner, intends to increase noise even further, despite the existing noise limits having been breached in 2017-2019 thanks to irresponsibly accelerated release of capacity.

The graph below shows how numbers of departures all through the day would increase from 2019 levels towards the black line of 2043, starting at 5 in the morning.

The next graph shows their plan for arrivals, which roar in low over Pitstone, Whipsnade, Kensworth, Caddington and South Luton; or over Stevenage, St Paul’s Walden, Breachwood Green to Wigmore depending on wind direction. There would be an arriving flight every 3 minutes between 10pm and 11pm, and then every 10 minutes until 2am. Aircraft noise at night is known to damage health, causing high blood pressure, strokes and of course tiredness.

The increase in air noise during the night-time period is due to an increase in commercial flights (freight and general aviation movements are unchanged) of approximately of 76%. The total increase in aircraft movements during the night-time period is forecast to be approximately 70%.

Luton Rising (Development Consent Order Application, Noise Chapter 16)

NO to the destruction of Wigmore Park

Wigmore Park was given to the residents of Wigmore as a buffer between the Airport and their homes. But Luton Borough Council has now turned the Park over to Luton Rising, which plans to destroy it. The red outline below shows the expanded airfield footprint, with the Park sacrificed for more aircraft stands and car-parks, and a second terminal:

Further expansion of Luton Airport flies in the face of Climate Change and the need to achieve net zero by 2050. The Climate Change Committee has called for a halt in airport expansion and for government to create an overall aviation carbon budget rather than allowing piecemeal increases. Its own Jet Zero Strategy is little more than a set of hopes and aspirations – akin to fiddling while the planet literally burns.

NO to a more vulnerable local economy

Luton Borough Council’s COVID support form government stipulated that the Council should reduce Luton’s financial dependency on the Airport. Loss of Airport revenue almost bankrupted the Town due to bankrupt thinking. The local economy needs to be diversified rather than become even more dependent on the Airport. Yet Luton Rising has run up a debt of some half a billion pounds on projects to facilitate further airport expansion, as a result leaving itself having to make huge interest payments rather than that money being available to reduce poverty in Luton.

NO to the environmental damage

A massive increase in annual passenger traffic, from 18 to 32 million, counts as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. This is right on the doorstep of north Hertfordshire with its essential farmland and rural towns and villages – over which Luton’s planes fly day and night, as well as robbing local residents of sleep. The environmental damage would be huge:

  • 70,000 more flights a year creating noise, carbon emissions, NOx pollutants and high-altitude contrails
  • 40,000 extra passenger journeys a day creating more carbon emissions and air pollution
  • increasing local exposure to kerosene fumes and health-damaging ultrafine particulates
  • destroying the ecology and habitat of Wigmore Valley Park and using local arable land to create a substitute

Local community groups all around the area, and the Parish, Town and County councils in Hertfordshire, are united in their opposition to further expansion at Luton Airport. An overwhelming majority of more than 90% of the initial responses to the current planning examination rejected further expansion. LADACAN submitted robust rebuttals to the consultations and is continuing to fight against this project as being out of keeping with the surrounding area.

If you opposed to further expansion of Luton Airport, please join LADACAN by donating at least £10 to help with our costs – we’re all volunteers. To make an online donation you can use the button below:

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