London Luton Airport (LLA) has commenced work on the redevelopment of its passenger terminal as part of a £110m project to expand the airport.
The UK Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said the project will play an important role in meeting the immediate demand for air travel in London, the South East and South Midlands.
The redevelopment will increase annual capacity of the airport from 12 million to 18 million passengers every year by 2020.
A report by the independent consultancy Oxford Economics stated that the £110m transformation, planned with the support of the Department for Transport, will add £1bn to the UK economy and create an opportunity for additional 10,000 jobs by 2030.
McLoughlin added: "The transformation of London Luton Airport is adding to the UK's reputation for world class aviation infrastructure.
"Not only will its development help to meet demand for aviation but will also create thousands of jobs."
McLaughlin & Harvey have been appointed as the main contractors for the terminal redevelopment works.
A local firm, Buckingham Group, has bagged the contract to build a new multi-storey car park at the airport, while Whitemountain has been entrusted to deliver a new bus interchange, provide improved drop-off facilities and airport road upgrades on the site.
LLA CEO Nick Barton said: "As the Secretary of State made clear, expansion at LLA is strategically vital to ensure that we can meet rapidly rising demand for air travel in the South East over the next 15-20 years."
The project will also involve the redesigning of the terminal, increasing the retail space by double, setting up of a new £1m executive lounge and a new multi-storey car park with 1,700 spaces.
Barton added: "Passengers will benefit from a more efficient, friendly and convenient airport. We're working hard to improve their experience further by seeking to introduce a dedicated new Express rail service with four fast trains per hour and a fixed link to the terminal from Parkway train station."
Image: Redevelopment work of the passenger terminal has commenced at the LLA. Photo: courtesy of London Luton Airport.