Luton Airport expansion

Potential impacts of the Luton Airport expansion

Climate change

A Greenhouse Gas assessment used a 2019 baseline and showed that the majority of emissions are from Air Traffic Movements.

A Green Managed Growth Strategy was proposed to control the impact of the airport expansion on:

  • air quality
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • noise
  • surface access

The lack of proven measures to mitigate this impact will lead to an increase in emissions which is at odds with the UK’s ambition to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. However, it remains to be seen if this will be countered by a change in demand for travel since the Covid-19 pandemic

Aircraft noise

It is forecasted that:

  • the number of air traffic movements in Buckinghamshire would rise if the Luton Airport Expansion went ahead
  • noise levels will not affect Buckinghamshire until 2043, when a small area of South East Buckinghamshire will be affected by the night-time Lowest Observable Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) of 45dB (for context this is approximately equivalent to a suburban area at night)
  • there will be an increase in the number of overflights by around 45% (although the redesign of southeast airspace could reduce the level of impacts at more distant locations)
  • Dagnall and Pitstone are likely to have noise levels 2 to 3 dB higher by 2043 than they would be without the development (elsewhere in Buckinghamshire, rises are likely to be less than this but changes will be dependent on the airspace changes)

Proposals for reducing aircraft noise

The developer’s proposed Green Controlled Growth strategy will include a noise envelope imposing a series of thresholds, stops and limits on the size of average summer daytime and night-time noise contours. Buckinghamshire Council welcomes this approach and will continue to engage with the Noise Envelope Design Group.

Moving forward, Buckinghamshire Council will:

  • resist any changes which have a permanent significant noise effect on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • treat Wendover as a special case and assess the potential impact of the expansion (this is because Wendover is already impacted by air traffic from Luton and Heathrow airports and will also be impacted by additional rail noise from HS2)


We are requesting that Luton Rising support improved public transport links to Luton Airport.

The DART link between Luton Airport and Luton Airport Parkway does not assist transport from Buckinghamshire as residents would have to travel into London to make use of it. Most residents travelling to Luton Airport currently have to travel via road as public transport options there are inadequate.

Buckinghamshire Council suggests providing public transport links via 'hubs' in its major towns. These hubs will help reduce congestion and the impact on air quality from more vehicles travelling to the airport. They will also improve Buckinghamshire residents and businesses transport options.

Local impacts

We want to ensure that Luton Rising considers the impacts of expansion in communities in northern Buckinghamshire, particularly:

  • Edlesborough
  • Dagnall
  • Pitstone
  • Halton