18 November, 2019

New taxiway and de-Icing facility opens at London Luton Airport

New taxiway and de-Icing facility opens

London Luton Airport (LLA) has opened Taxiway Foxtrot, a second new taxiway as part of its £160m transformation programme. This follows the completion of Taxiway Bravo, which opened in early 2018. The new taxiway will help the airport manage aircraft ground movements more efficiently and contribute to ongoing efforts to minimise delays.

The new taxiway is 520m long, and required 6,000m3 of concrete and 110,000 hours to complete. 9km of electric cables connect the 150 LED lights on the new taxiway.

Taxiway Foxtrot also includes one of the largest remote de-icing facilities in Europe.  The facility can de-ice up to seven planes at once and incorporates 600m of drainage to ensure that all de-icing liquid is captured and disposed of safely. This will help the airport to maintain on-time departures during exceptionally cold weather. 

Work on Taxiway Foxtrot began in January this year, and it was completed in August. The project was carried out by local construction firm Ryebridge and managed by consultancy Turner & Townsend.

4,000m3 of earth was re-used during the construction phase and the taxiway has been designed to capture de-icing fluids for recycling.

Neil Thompson, Operations Director at LLA said: “This new taxiway will enable us to efficiently manage the ever-increasing number of aircraft that use the airport. The de-icing facility will also help us to and our airline partners to deliver punctual departures year round, whatever the weather.” 

London Luton Airport (LLA) is one of the UK’s largest airports and carried 16.6 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 5% on 2017. The airport indirectly employs over 9,400 staff and is a key economic driver for the region. 

easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Tui, EL AL, Blue Air, SunExpress, FlyBosnia, Level and Vueling currently operate from the airport. The airport’s route network serves 150 destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The airport is operated and developed by a consortium of which the majority shareholder is AENA, the world’s largest airport operator, and AMP Capital, a specialist global investment manager.

LLA has invested over £160million to transform the airport and increase capacity to 18 million passengers per year by 2020. The redevelopment includes a complete redesign of the terminal, bringing in more than 40 new shops and restaurants and an additional 3,000 seats. LLA has also carried out major upgrades to transport links, including improved road access from the M1, new car parking facilities, and a remodelled bus and coach interchange.

Passengers travelling by rail will benefit from upgraded rail links to Luton Airport Parkway station as part of a new partnership agreement with Abellio, which will operate the East Midlands Railway for the next eight years. A half-hourly express rail service between London and Luton Airport Parkway will launch in December 2020. In addition, work is well underway on a £225 million light rail system linking the airport with Luton Airport Parkway station and is anticipated to be completed by 2021. The project is being delivered by the airport owners, LLAL – a company owned by Luton Council.

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