LLAL, the airport holding company which collects the cash for Luton Borough Council, is running a consultation which ends on 16th December on plans to make yet more money from the Airport at the expense of communities which suffer the noise, traffic congestion and pollution.
This is a BAD PLAN for many reasons:
FutureLuToN is bad for communities which already suffer the unmitigated impacts of the recent doubling of capacity – on the busiest routes an additional 90% flights a year. To cram in more passengers the aircraft have got bigger and noisier, and the number of quieter-engine planes has been offset by introducing more of the larger noisier ones.
FutureLuToN is bad for climate change given the strong effect which aviation has not just from high-level pollutants but contrails which cause additional clouds. The Climate Change Committee has written to government clearly stating that aviation growth must be at least halved to reach net zero by 2050 – the bare minimum we must do to survive.
FutureLuToN is bad for commuters because the additional 14 million passengers will cause on average 77,000 additional journeys to and from the airport each day, double that during peak season, clogging road and rail services and causing more pollution. Luton has a very poor track record of passenger use of public transport.
FutureLuToN is bad for confidence in balanced growth – the airport has taken all the benefits of the recent expansion but failed to deliver better routes, increased altitudes, reduced noise, a quieter fleet, and no evidence that the claimed jobs have materialised. The entire airspace in the south-east is due to be redesigned and until that happens nobody can be sure where these proposed 220,000 flights per year will actually go.
FutureLuToN is bad for the Council which has already spent tens of millions of pounds of Luton’s money on putting more and more of its economic eggs into one basked rather than diversifying – at a time when people are being asked to think twice about flying and to cut down on unnecessary flights: have they not heard of flygskam?
Top-level information and the roadshow timetable can be found on their website at https://futureluton.llal.org.uk/ where the mass of consultation documents will be found.
What can individuals do?
It’s worth going to the roadshows, finding out what they are proposing, and making your views known in person. The real battle will be waged with the help of our local and particularly County Councils, who will be preparing responses with an eye to the fact that the decision will be made by the Planning Inspectorate. Nevertheless, the weight of public opinion will also be a factor they cannot ignore, so do please start to get your heads around the individual response process.
LADACAN will be preparing a response as well, in coordination with other local campaign groups. We will be offering more guidance in due course but meantime:
BEWARE: the consultation questions are worded so that you can easily be suckered into appearing to agree with the proposals. For example, how do you answer the following question if you don’t think they should build a new Terminal on a park:
“Do you have any comments on our proposed park, that would replace Wigmore Valley Park?”
We suggest holding off for now – there is time before 16th December to consider how best to word objections, in the meantime please get stuck in and publicise this locally to people and organisations you know who are concerned.
Just so that you are aware, LADACAN been asked, along with local campaign group LLATVCC, to be a community member of the Noise Envelope Design Group which LLAL is required by government to create in order to define the noise controls. We will provide further information as this develops.