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Record passenger numbers as airport enhancements gain pace

News   •   Dec 12, 2016 11:11 GMT

  • 32nd consecutive month of passenger growth
  • Additional e-Passport gates installed
  • Free security compliant plastic bags to be introduced for hand-luggage liquids

London Luton Airport (LLA) has recorded a 13% increase in passenger numbers in November compared to the same period last year. This is the 32nd consecutive month of passenger growth at the airport.

As well as catering to more travellers than ever before, LLA is also working hard to improve the experience for passengers.

This month will see the installation of five new ePassport gates at LLA, taking the total number at the airport to 15. The ePassport gates provide European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who are travelling using a biometric passport, the choice of an automated, fast and secure route through the UK border. LLA will also introduce complimentary plastic bags for passengers carrying hand-luggage liquids through security.

Both initiatives support the airport’s £110million transformation plan, which aim not only to increase passenger capacity, but also to ensure travellers have a fast, efficient and stress-free journey.

In response to the growing passenger demand LLA is also working to improve access to the airport.

LLA is currently the only London airport without an express-style rail service that offers four fast trains per hour to central London. The airport is calling on government to change this through the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising process.

Alongside Luton Borough Council’s planned £200million rail link between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal, the additional fast train services will make LLA one of the best-connected London airports with journey times of less than 30 minutes from central London.

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, commented: “We’re working hard to transform the airport with our £110million investment programme. Working with Border Force to introduce more automated e-Passport gates is a great indicator of how we’re aiming to make our passengers’ journeys as quick and simple as possible.

“With the redevelopment making rapid progress on-site, we’re also looking to drive improvements in transport links to the airport. Introducing four fast trains per hour through the new East Midlands franchise would benefit passengers, the local community and fare box revenues at no cost to government.”


* Maximising opportunities for the next east Midlands train franchise, North Star Consultancy

About ePassport gates

The ePassport gates use facial recognition technology to provide identity and security checks in a matter of seconds. Once these are completed the gate opens automatically to allow cleared passengers through the border. Border Force officers monitor the system and any travellers rejected by the gates are directed to the normal clearance desks to be seen by an officer.

Automated technology, such as ePassport gates, gives Border Force the ability to process a higher number of low risk passengers more quickly and using fewer resources. This allows Border Force officers to focus on other priority work such as cracking down on the smuggling of contraband goods and identifying potential victims of trafficking