2019 In Focus


Jan 3. 2019 London Luton Airport’s newly-upgraded terminal now open

The £160m redevelopment has been the biggest in the airport’s 80-year history and focused on making passengers’ journeys easier, quicker and more enjoyable, with significant improvements being made in the terminal and to the ways in which people get to and from the airport.

The transformation of the airport will increase its annual capacity by 50% to 18 million passengers by 2020. Since the work began passenger numbers have increased 35%, making LLA London’s fastest growing airport, with more than 16.5 million passengers expected to fly in 2018, an increase of 5% on 2017.

Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “2018 has been a milestone year for LLA. We celebrated our 80th anniversary in the summer and now we have completed our three-year transformation which brings a host of benefits to passengers. This is a new era for LLA. We are the fastest-growing major London airport and are now in a position to play an increasingly important role in the UK’s aviation network.”

What passengers can now find at LLA:

•30 new high street and luxury stores, including Hugo Boss, Chanel, which offers an exclusive range at LLA, and Oliver Bonas’ first airport store

•Over 1,000 more seats and free Wi-Fi

•A new boarding pier, with eight additional boarding gates

•An expanded security search area

  1. A new dual carriageway, bus interchange and multi-storey car park.

Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, said: “Today is a very exciting day not just for the airport but also for Luton. The significant improvements not only bring benefits for the passenger but also for the local economy. I’m grateful to all those who’ve worked on this major redevelopment and look forward to the remaining pieces of the jigsaw, like the DART, helping London Luton Airport grow from strength to strength.”

Johan Lundgren, CEO, easyJet, said: “As the largest airline operating to and from London Luton Airport, we are excited that the airport’s transformation will benefit the seven million easyJet customers who use the airport every year. This transformation project was a key factor in our commitment to long term growth at the airport, so it’s great to see its completion.”

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “Now more than ever, unlocking new aviation capacity to deliver global trade links is critical for a strong UK economy. With London’s airports fast filling up, extra capacity will drive trade and investment, create new jobs and help British businesses thrive at home and abroad. Luton’s new terminal is a vital part of this strategy, and will complement expansion schemes at other airports.”

London Luton Airport (LLA) has seen a 45 per cent drop in the number of noise complaints compared to last year.

According to the Quarterly Monitoring Report for July to September 2018, the number of noise complaints decreased from 5,785 during this period in 2017 to 3,175 in 2018.

It was also reported the number of complainants has also fallen, with 60 per cent of all complaints being made by 10 individuals.

London Luton Airport flight operations manager James Dontas explained: “While noise from aircraft is unavoidable, we are always working to minimise and mitigate its impact on the local community wherever possible.”

LLA has committed itself to reducing noise pollution through its Noise Action Plan and has invested £100,000 a year on insulation projects in properties in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

LLA recorded an increase of passengers from 4.79 million in the third quarter last year to 4.95 million this year.

JAN 7. The Future is here at CES 2019 (formerly, the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas this week with some examples of trends that will influence all our everyday activities:

TREND 1. Many of us are already using voice-controlled digital devices, such as intelligent digital assistants and as the trend continues Keyboards and Screens will also disappear to be replaced with Voice control. Keyboards and mice will be around for a while, but may disappear quickly as voice and other sensors change our usage.

TREND 2. Digital Health Care is evolving to change our relationships with Doctors and the NHS.

Consumers are managing more of their own health digitally, and brain health — including the prevention of dementia, as well as mental health — look out for emerging trends this year.

TREND 3. Unattended Stores and Vending Machines are a major discussion topic. As unstaffed Amazon Go stores and Best Buy electronic vending machines at airports and other locations become ordinary, other companies are looking at moves such as retrofitting existing stores to make them unstaffed, in addition to smart stores that collect data to offer personalized products and services.