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Luton scraps runway plans for terminal extension

Luton Airport has scrapped plans to replace its runway and will invest in expanding its terminal buildings instead.

A proposal for a replacement runway 950m to the south of the existing one have 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 new investment within its strict criteria for investment return. The scheme has been withdrawn.

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 plans will be announced in December this year. It is not known yet if they allow the 30M passenger throughput that the new runway scheme would have achieved.

Luton is used largely by low cost and charter airline companies such as Ryan Air and Easyjet, which may be reluctant to see steep increases in charges that could follow new runway investment.

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