London Luton Airport
Learn more about London Luton Airport
|London Luton Airport|
|IATA: LTN - ICAO: EGGW|
<tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Airport type</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">Public</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Operator</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">London Luton Airport Operations Ltd</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" align="left" valign="top">Serves</th><td colspan="2" valign="top">London</td></tr>
|Elevation AMSL||526 ft (160 m)|
London Luton Airport (IATA: LTN, ICAO: EGGW) (previously called Luton International Airport) is an airport about 30 miles north of London in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire. It is the fourth largest airport serving the London area after Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, now handling approximately 9 million passengers per year. It serves as hubs for Easyjet, Monarch, Thomsonfly, First Choice Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Wizz Air, and Silverjet, and as a focus city for Ryanair.
London Luton Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P835) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.
Following the war the land was returned to the local council who continued activity at the airport as a commercial operation. At this stage, they provided the base for major tour operators such as Euravia (now TUI, following previous growth as Britannia Airways) and Monarch Airlines. In 1972, Luton Airport was the most profitable airport in the country, however it suffered a severe setback in August 1974 when a major package tour operator, Clarksons, scheduling flights via its airline Court Line (which also operated local bus services), went bankrupt.
The next fifteen years saw a process of rebuilding, including the opening of a new international terminal in 1985. In 1990 the airport was renamed "London Luton Airport" in order to boost the profile of the airport in the eyes of foreign visitors, likely to be heading to London. In 1991, another setback occurred when Ryanair, who had flown from the airport to Ireland for a number of years, transferred its base of operations to Stansted. Later in the 90s, however, things picked up for Luton, with the introduction of charter flights for Airtours and new 'low cost' scheduled flights from Debonair and easyJet, the latter making Luton its hub.
 Luton Today
Today, the airport remains in municipal ownership, owned by Luton Borough Council. An indicator of the importance of the airport to the economy of Luton is that the town has the highest number of taxi cabs per head of population in the United Kingdom. The airport has become even more critical to the future of Luton given the recent closure of the Vauxhall car factory.
In October 2006, new airline, Silverjet, announced that it would be starting direct flights from Luton to Newark Liberty Airport, New York. This marks an important milestone for the airport with the inaugaration of scheduled, trans-atlantic flights.
 Developments and New Terminal
In August 1997, in order to fund a £80 million extension of the airport, the council issued a 30 year management contract to a public private partnership consortium, London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLOAL), which was headed by Barclays Bank. Barclays later sold to TBI plc. In January 2005, LLAOL was acquiredby Airport Concessions Development Limited, a company owned by Abertis Infraestructuras (90%) and Aena Internacional (10%), both Spanish companies. Abertis is one of Europe’s leading infrastructure providers, whilst Aena Internacional is the international business arm of the Spanish national airport and air traffic control organisation.
The main feature of the development phase in 1998 was a £40 million terminal made from aluminium and glass, based on an original design by Foster and Partners which The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened in November 1999. The building is nicknamed "The Tinshed" by locals.
The terminal houses 60 check-in desks, "state of the art" baggage and flight information systems and a wide range of shops, restaurants and bars. In the original design brief for the 1999 Terminal, a 9000 sq ft 1st floor area featuring a spectacular vaulted ceiling originally conceived by Sir Norman Foster, was built but intended to lie fallow until required for a development of this type.
In September 2004, development work started on a major project to transfer departures from the International Terminal Building built in 1985, to the 9000 sq ft first floor of the 1999 Terminal Building. The new departure hall opened on schedule on 1st July 2005 and features extensive 'new build' in the form of the new Boarding Pier extending 190 metres out between the Airport's North & East Aprons and relocated Security, Customs and Immigration facilities. It also encompasses the development and remodelling of the so-far unused 1st Floor of the 1999 Terminal.In 2005 total passengers at London Luton increased by 21.5% to 9.135 million, making it the UK's sixth busiest airport. It is also the fastest growing UK airport.
 Luton Airport in Culture
The airport has also been featured on two popular British television series. The first, Airline, now follows the staff of Easyjet at Luton and the airlines other hubs across the country. In 2005, a new series called Luton Airport was shown which followed the life of employees at Luton Airport in a similar format to the show Airport which follows staff at Heathrow Airport.
A railway station, Luton Airport Parkway, was built to serve the airport. The station is served by the Midland Main Line, with services to London St Pancras and to the north, and by First Capital Connect, with services to Bedford, St Albans, London, Wimbledon, Sutton, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. A free shuttle bus connects the station to the airport, which is just over a mile from the airport terminal buildings. There are plans to replace the Luton Airport Express Shuttle Bus from Luton Airport Parkway Station with a segregated tracked transit system in the near future to further improve public transport links to the airport.
 Development plans and the Future
In 2004 the airport management announced that they supported the government plans to expand the facilities to include a full-length runway, either on the current alignment, slightly south on the same alignment or at an angle to the present runway. Local campaign groups including LADACAN  and SLAP  are opposed to the new expansion plans. The expansion plans would result in the destruction of Someries Castle, a scheduled ancient monument.
In 2005, Fly First announed plans for all first-class flights from Luton to Newark, this is expected to involve two Boeing 757 aircraft with a cabin of 48 seats. News of Fly First in recent months seems have gone very quiet. This was followed in early 2006 when plans from a new low-cost carrier called Silverjet were announced for an all business class route to Newark. Silverjet will start flying between the two airports in January 2007, and tickets have now gone on sale.
 Airlines and destinations
 Scheduled airlines
- Aer Arann (Galway, Isle of Man, Lorient, Newquay, Waterford)
- AJet (Larnaca, Paphos)
- easyJet (Aberdeen, Alicante, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Belfast, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bordeaux, Bremen, Budapest, Cagliari, Dortmund, Edinburgh, Faro, Geneva, Glasgow, Grenoble, Inverness, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Kraków, Lisbon, Madrid, Málaga, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles De Gaulle, Rijeka, Turin, Warsaw)
- Flybe (Jersey)
- Monarch (Alicante, Almeria [Starts 3 May, 2007], Faro, Gibraltar, Gran Canaria, Ibiza [Starts 24 May, 2007], Lanzarote, Málaga, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife South)
- Ryanair (Brest, Dublin, Fez, Girona, Knock, Malta, Marrakech, Milan-Bergamo, Murcia, Nimes, Reus, Rome-Ciampino, Shannon, Venice-Treviso)
- Silverjet (Newark [Starts 25 January, 2007])
- Thomsonfly (Malaga, Marrakech, Palma de Mallorca,Prague,Tenerife-South, Zante)
- Wizz Air (Bourgas, Bucharest-Băneasa [Starts 15 January], Budapest, Gdańsk, Katowice, Ljubljana, Poznan, Sofia, Split, Warsaw, Zagreb)
 Charter Operators
A small percentage of flights out of Luton are operated by charter airlines, representing around 5% of annual flight movements at the airport. Charter airlines who regularly fly to Luton include:
 Cargo operators
Additionally, many business jets are frequent visitors to London Luton Airport.
 Passenger data and airport statistics
Number of millions of passengers using Luton airport.
- 1992 - 1.943
- 1993 - 1.844
- 1994 - 1.804
- 1995 - 1.810
- 1996 - 2.406
- 1997 - 3.221
- 1998 - 4.116
- 1999 - 5.251
- 2000 - 6.170
- 2001 - 6.540
- 2002 - 6.474
- 2003 - 6.786
- 2004 - 7.520
- 2005 - 9.135
The above figures are quoted from the Civil Aviation Authority website.
The top ten destinations from Luton Airport are:
 Handling Agencies at the Airport
|Handling Agency||Airlines Served|
|Aviance||AJet, Flybe, Monarch Airlines, Wizz Air|
|Big Orange Handling Company||Easyjet|
|Servisair||Aer Arann, Air Luxor, British Airways Connect, Excel Airways, First Choice Airways, MyTravel Airways, Ryanair, Spanair, Thomas Cook Airlines Thomsonfly|
 External links