The expansion of London Luton Airport will add £1 billion to the UK economy and create 10,500 new jobs over the next 15 years, according to report into the airport's economic impact.
Published by consultancy firm Oxford Economics, the report found that the airport already supports £1.3bn of economic activity and more than 27,000 jobs. Now, £110 million is being invested by 2020. In addition to major improvements for passengers, the redevelopment will see London Luton Airport's capacity increased from 12 million passengers a year to 18 million.
The report comes as LLA experiences record passenger growth. Twenty-four per cent more people passed through the airport in November this year than in the same month last year, making LLA the fastest growing major airport in the UK. The airport has also added 20 new routes and welcomed four new airline partners in 2015.
The Oxford Economics study also shows that the airport creates a large proportion of highly skilled jobs for the region. The figures show that the average gross wage at LLA is £38,000, compared to the national average of £27,000. In addition, 40% of the new jobs created will be in management, professional or skilled occupations.
In the ten years after the redevelopment is complete, its contribution to the UK economy is forecast to rise 77%, from £1.3bn to £2.3bn. Its contribution to the Three Counties economy is expected to double from £732m a year to £1.4bn.
Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “This report vividly illustrates the economic benefits that LLA brings to the local and regional economy. As we deliver on our ambitious £110 million plans to transform the airport, we will be working hard to ensure that our region and local communities reap the maximum benefit and share in our success.
“The report is very timely as the government considers the location of a new runway in South East England. The Airports Commission made clear that it is imperative for the UK’s international competitiveness that airports such as LLA grow. Our redevelopment will ensure that we continue to punch above our weight within London’s six runway system, delivering greater choice, value and service to passengers.”
Councillor Andrew Malcolm of Luton Borough Council, said: “London Luton Airport already makes a huge contribution to the economy of Luton and the Three Counties area. This report illustrates how the airport’s expansion will ensure that it continues to deliver prosperity and jobs for local people through its investment and redevelopment programme.”