Agenda item

Luton Airport Update

Report to follow.


Cllr Anderson said that he had received an email from the Committee Clerk the afternoon before, which said the James Doe would be unable to present reports at the meeting.  Cllr Anderson added that because of this his intention had been to cancel the two items concerned, but Cllr Timmis as a member of the airport consultative committee has some information for the meeting on the subject.

Cllr Timmis explained that she had not been able to prepare anything but as she had been at a meeting on Monday, a lot of what had been discussed was fresh in her mind.  She said that Luton Airport are looking to expand hugely at the moment they have approximately 18 million passengers a year and they are planning to have 36 million by 2040 at the latest. She explained that there is a lot of money going into expanding the facilities on the airport, including ‘The Dart’ which is a people transporter. They are also building a new multi-storey car park.  A huge section of land behind the airport, previously a park has been bought and more development is being planned on that land, although some of the land will be utilised as a new park. Cllr Timmis went on to say that the reason she is on Committees, including the Consultative Committee is that her ward will be significantly affected by the changes. 70 percent of flights using a narrow pathway between Flamstead and Markyate.when taking off. Cllr Timmis said that they were hoping to achieve more of a shared take-off by aircraft taking off at a steeper trajectory and respite routes, these are alternative routes that can be used from time to time so different areas are impacted. This will be subject to the Airspace Modernisation Strategy. It is hoped that some of the present restrictions preventing planes taking off steeply will be removed. There is also a government consultation on aviation which is on the government website and that expires April 11th 2019.  Cllr Timmis said that she would be attending a meeting of the St Albans Air Traffic Working Group the following week, to which James Doe is also invited, this meeting incorporates Herts County Council and many other representatives. Cllr Timmis said that she feels there is not enough support from Dacorum. Luton is the only airport owned by the Borough Council – Luton Borough Council own the airport but do not run it.

Cllr Anderson explained that Luton is the only airport in the country that is not governed by national legislation.

Cllr Hearne asked whether there had been a discussion about the use of larger aircraft requiring a longer runway. Cllr Timmis replied that they (Luton Airport) have said that they can use the existing runway efficiently and would not be looking to build a second one.  She added that she does not think much larger aircraft have been suggested as most of their flights are short haul which do not use the bigger planes.

A discussion regarding Luton Airport purchasing properties in Breachwood Green and the link between that and further expansion of the airport followed. 

Cllr Matthews asked whether transport links had been looked at and Cllr Timmis replied that they had, including expanding the access roads, putting in new bridges etc., it is a huge issue as it would affect the M1.The hope is that people will use public transport including The Dart.

Cllr Tindall asked whether the group discussed disabled facilities.  Cllr Timmis explained that there was a disabled representative on the passenger group.

Cllr Anderson said that when he looked at Google Earth it concerned him that there was scope for a second runway and it seemed an obvious thing to do.  Did Cllr Timmis think they genuinely were not looking to build a second runway? Cllr Timmis said that they were adamant they are not going for a second runway.

Cllr Anderson asked if the Committee would be happy for him together with Cllr Timmis to have a discussion with Cllr Sutton to express the view that they would like to strengthen Dacorum’s opposition to what is happening at the airport.

It was agreed with the Committee that Cllr Anderson have delegated responsibility to liaise with Cllr Sutton and James Doe.