join donate discuss

No to doubling capacity at Luton Airport

Luton Borough Council owns the airport through its company Luton London Airport Limited, receives the income from it (£47 million profit last year), and also acts as the planning authority - a significant conflict of interest. LLAL want to double capacity at Luton Airport, which is already the UK’s fifth largest airport. The owners set out a vision for 38 million passengers and 240,000 flights a year to Gatwick-sized proportions, greatly increasing the noise and pollution which are an integral part of air travel. At present 18 million passengers are permitted.

The airport is located on a plateau, (often closed by fog and bad weather) and it has a very constrained footprint due to the densely-packed surrounding settlements. This means many more towns and villages are affected by noise and pollution than Gatwick and Stansted for example, and should the expansion go ahead there is likely to be a huge increase in Hertfordshire’s rural traffic. There is no Polluter Pays* principle in operation and although Luton Borough Council monitors air quality under the flight path this seems to stop and is not monitored in Hertfordshire even though the planes fly straight over us during both arrival and departure. The number of night flights between 11pm and 7am has already increased by 25% to 16,031 flights over the past two years. There is imminent further fracture of trust between Luton Airport and residents of rural Hertfordshire…as it has been put so aptly “Bedfordshire gets the gain, Hertfordshire gets the pain.”

Snapshot of flight paths from Lu

In summary

North Hertfordshire & Stevenage Green Party believe expansion is a damaging backward step both locally and nationally, reducing quality of life and dragging us further into the environmental mess that we’re already in. We accept that some air travel is part of modern life but are totally against any growth and seek reduction. Expanding now seems especially questionable as leaving the EU may result in people being able to take fewer holidays abroad, and demand for air travel may drop. Aircraft cause relentless noise which is known to damage health and well-being; are highly polluting both locally and atmospherically; and are energy-intensive, burning more fossil fuel per passenger or ton-mile than any other form of transport. It is also the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and runs counter to the government agreement to reduce emissions, from the Paris agreement and its own Climate Change Act 2008.

NH&S Green Party say No to doubling capacity at Luton Airport.