London Luton Airport has extended its contract for air traffic management with UK-based NATS until November 2017.

According to the new agreement, NATS will continue to provide approach, tower and engineering services as part of its management of the London terminal manoeuvring area.

The company had retained the current contract in 2012, following a competitive tendering procedure.

"This extension shows that NATS continues to offer an outstanding, safe and efficient service and excellent value for money."

NATS general manager at London Luton Airport Gill Clark said: "This extension shows that NATS continues to offer an outstanding, safe and efficient service and excellent value for money.

"High-quality air traffic management is vital to the smooth running of any airport, helping to minimise delays while maximising available capacity and that is what NATS does best. We look forward to working with London Luton Airport and their exciting development plans to reach 18 million passengers by 2031."

London Luton Airport’s operations director Neil Thompson said: "Our partnership with NATS will see us continue to work together to deliver safe and reliable services that can accommodate the increasing number of airlines and passengers, who choose to use London Luton for its ease and convenience."

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According to data, in 2013 the airport carried 9.7 million passengers with NATS controllers handling 97,615 flights, which made it the fifth busiest passenger airport in the UK.

Image: NATS will help London Luton Airport manage air traffic until November 2017. Photo: courtesy of NATS.