London Luton Airport has received the final planning consent for a £100m development project, which will increase its annual passenger capacity to 18 million by 2031.
Final planning consent was given by Luton Borough Council after the UK Department for Communities and Local Government ruled in April that the planning application could proceed.
The expansion project is predicted to increase the airport's annual economic impact by £283m to £1.2bn and create over 5,000 jobs in Luton and the surrounding areas.
The construction work will take place over three phases and will include a larger, modernised terminal building with improved surface access. The building will feature 15 immigration passenger screening lanes, up to eight international passenger baggage reclaim belts, additional seating areas and a new two-storey pier.
Commenting on the start of the development programme, London Luton Airport executive chairman Clive Condie said: "This marks the start of a new journey for the airport, as we begin the process of transforming London Luton Airport to deliver a great experience for our customers, Luton and the surrounding regions."
easyJet's commercial director Sophie Dekkers said: "As London Luton's largest airline, currently flying just under five million passengers in and out of the airport each year, we welcome the news that final planning consent has been granted.
"Delivering these development plans will not only enable London Luton to meet its full potential, with easyJet offering an even greater range of business and leisure destinations, but also drive economic growth and provide more jobs for Luton and the surrounding region."
The airport is on track to see a record number of passengers go through its terminal this year, with numbers expected to surpass the previous high of 10.3 million in 2008.
Image: The project is forecast to increase Luton Airport's annual economic impact by £283m to £1.2bn. Photo: courtesy of London Luton Airport.