London Luton Airport (LTN) owner Luton Rising has initiated statutory consultation for its proposed expansion plan.

Luton Rising has proposed an increase in annual passenger capacity to 32 million, by constructing a new terminal at the airport and by making optimum use of the existing runway.

The company is organising 13 events, where the public are invited to see the proposals, special virtual exhibition room, films and raise their questions or give their feedback on the expansion proposal.

Luton Rising chair and councillor Javeria Hussain said: “Our proposals reflect the sustainability values, both of Luton Rising, and our sole shareholder, Luton Council. We want to maximise the social and economic benefits of growth and firmly believe there is a way to grow an airport in a sustainably responsible way.

“Our consultation sets out how we propose to achieve this. Sustainability is about more than environmental issues, it’s social and economic impacts too. Our airport is a vital part of the economic ecosystem of the region and beyond, directly and indirectly supporting tens of thousands of jobs.”

The expansion is expected to create thousands of employment opportunities, along with an additional £1bn in economic activity in Luton and neighbouring counties.

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Hussain added that the plans also incorporate an ‘extensive Draft Employment and Training Strategy’ to help locals avail these jobs.

The airport can now accommodate 18 million passengers per year.

However, campaigners termed the expansion as ‘a huge waste of public money.’

Luton Rising CEO Graham Olver said: “We would encourage as many people as possible to take a look at these proposals and to give us your feedback on them.

“The views expressed at the 2019 consultation were an important influence on the changes we have made since then.”

In December last year, Luton Borough Council approved London Luton Airport expansion plans.