The upgrade of London’s Luton airport is finally over and it will officially open for traffic soon. The airport’s transformation that cost a whooping £ 160 million is being considered the biggest project in its 80 year history. This project would increase the airport’s capacity by 50 % and will allow it to service 18 million passengers by 2020. The enormous upgradation plan also includes several new shops, boarding gates and also a new boarding pier. Though the renovation has failed to reduce noise at the airport from arriving and departing aircraft the airport said it has applied for additional flight restrictions.
Chairman of Luton and District Association for Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN) Andrew Lambourne said that the airport has failed to fulfill its promise made in 2013 to reduce noise. He stated that now the noise pollution is so bad that the airport is already breaching a key planning condition for controlling noise so is asking to set the condition aside instead of trying to solve the problem. As number of flights have gone up by 90 % on key routes the commercial gain has eclipsed all environmental responsibility that Luton had proposed to take up.
But spokesperson for Luton airport denied these charges and said that growth in demand for air travel has led to marginal increase in night time noise footprint by 1.5km² but to address this and reduce this footprint appropriate restrictions on flights were taken during the busy summer season. He affirmed that the airport’s noise control measures are the most stringent among all major UK airports. The airport upgrade which is owned by Luton Borough Council also includes a dual carriageway, multi-storied car park and also a bus interchange. The airport was inaugurated in 1938 and the council has plans to expand it further to attract 38 million passengers every year by 2050.