Transport secretary Chris Grayling has officially opened Luton airport’s newly-upgraded terminal, marking the completion of a three-year, £160 million transformation project.

The airport says the development is the largest in its 80-year history and was focused on streamlining the passenger journey. Improvements were made to the terminal and the ways in which people get to and from the airport.

The transformation will allow the airport to increase its annual capacity by 50 per cent to 18 million passengers by 2020.

Since the project began, Luton has seen a 35 per cent increase in passenger numbers, with more than 16.5 million expected to fly by the end of 2018.

Luton now features over 1,000 more seats than before the redevelopment, free wifi, a new boarding pier with eight additional gates, an expanded security search area and 30 new high street and luxury stores. Externally, there is a new dual carriageway, bus interchange and multi-storey car park.

Opening the revamped terminal, Grayling commented: “London Luton’s investment firmly puts passengers at the heart of development and will improve the experience of those using the airport for business or holidays. Supporting thriving airports like London Luton will form a part of the government’s Aviation 2050 consultation, ensuring the benefits of transformation are felt across the local area.”

Nick Barton, CEO of Luton airport, added: “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.”

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