Application submitted for the sustainable long-term growth of London Luton Airport

Terminal 2 at night
  • • Application for Development Consent Order has been submitted today to the Planning Inspectorate, which will act on behalf of the Government
  • • Phased growth in line with demand would support a gross effect of an additional £1.5bn of economic activity and more than 10,000 new jobs across the UK
  • • Environmental impact limits to be set by Green Controlled Growth framework and written into law
  • • Supports growth of Luton Rising’s unique community funding programmes and Luton’s 2040 Vision for a town built on fairness where no-one needs to live in poverty
  • • Additional £1 to be invested into Luton and neighbouring communities for every passenger above the airport’s current capacity, for programmes tackling local deprivation and decarbonisation

The plans include community funding proposals that, in time, could provide an additional £14m every year for communities across Luton and neighbouring areas, and would support the company’s wider ambition of making London Luton Airport a leader in sustainable aviation.

The Development Consent Order (DCO) application comprises 198 documents, containing just over 25,000 detailed pages of proposals and plans.

Consent is being sought for the expansion of London Luton Airport from its current permitted cap of 18 million passengers per annum (mppa) up to 32 mppa, including: new terminal capacity; earthworks to create an extension to the current airfield platform; new airside and landside facilities; enhancement of the surface access network; extension of the Luton DART; landscaping and ecological improvements; and further infrastructure enhancements and initiatives to support the target of achieving zero-emission ground operations by 2040.

The proposals have been shaped by a programme of assessments, community and stakeholder engagement and consultation stretching across more than four years. Three consultation exercises were undertaken during 2018, 2019 and 2022, and in total more than 8,000 responses were received.

The submission documents include a full Needs Case, Environmental Statement, Traffic Assessment and Green Controlled Growth strategy that seeks to set binding and independently-monitored environmental limits for carbon, air quality, noise, and surface access – how people get to and from the airport.

Also included are improved noise insulation plans, and a consultation report which outlines how all comments received have been considered and responded to.

Submission of the application marks the start of the ‘acceptance’ stage of the DCO process. There will follow a 28-day period for the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, to decide whether or not the application meets the standards required to be accepted for examination, or if further documentation is needed.

Graham Olver, Chief Executive Officer of Luton Rising, said: “We’re pleased to bring forward these proposals for the expansion of London Luton Airport – we aim to enhance economic activity in and around Luton, provide numerous community benefits, and make the airport a leader in sustainable aviation. We now wait in anticipation for the Inspectorate’s decision as to whether we proceed to the examination stage of the DCO process.

“We have certainly endeavoured to do everything we can to deliver an achievable, detailed and evidence-based application that will meet the Inspectorate’s requirements. We hope that this will mark the start of the next phase of our commitment to grow London Luton Airport and help to deliver the employment, prosperity and positive social impact for Luton and neighbouring communities that they so richly deserve.”

Contact Information
Luton Council Press Office
Follow us @lutoncouncil
01582 547402 (including out of hours)

Notes to editors

If the DCO application is accepted, all relevant documents will be published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

An Examining Authority including up to five Planning Inspectors will be appointed, and members of the public will be able to register to make a representation. Full public examination is not expected to begin before at least the late summer.

The Planning Inspectorate has six months to carry out the examination. During this stage, Interested Parties who have registered to make a representation will be invited to provide more details of their views in writing. Careful consideration is given by the Examining Authority to all the important and relevant matters.

The Planning Inspectorate must prepare a report on the application to the relevant Secretary of State, including a recommendation, within three months of the close of the six-month Examination stage.

The final decision is made by the Secretary of State who has a further three months to grant or refuse development consent.

Full details of the DCO application process are set out at

Luton Rising will be able to comment further after the Planning Inspectorate has decided whether or not to accept the application.