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Luton scraps runway plans for terminal expansion

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LUTON AIRPORT has scrapped plans to replace its runway and will now invest in expanding its terminal buildings instead.

A proposal for a replacement runway 950m to the south of the existing one has been on the table since October 2005. Plans also included new terminal facilities to the south.

Management company, London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAO), which operates the airport for owner Luton Borough Council, said it was unable to justify the project within its strict criteria for investment return.

Demetrio Ullastres, chairman of LLAO's Spanish parent company TBI, said: 'We are committed to the delivery of facilities that meet the needs of our customers and at the same time fulfil our shareholder expectations.

Therefore, we have decided that our proposals should focus on making the most of the existing airport site.' New proposals will be announced in December. It is not yet known if the plans will allow the 30M passenger throughput that the new runway scheme would have achieved.

Luton Airport is used by lowcost and charter-airlines, which may be reluctant to pay steep increases in charges that could follow new runway investment.

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