Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning, took the opportunity of a short debate on aircraft take-off and landing slots to criticise the Government’s decision to allow the expansion of Luton airport to go ahead.
The debate in Parliament was on a Statutory Instrument to introduce some temporary flexibility to the strict rules that airlines have to follow in order to maintain their take-off and landing slots; problems have arisen due to ongoing impacts of the covid-19 pandemic.
Sir Mike seized the first opportunity to let Ministers know his dissatisfaction at the recent decision.
Sir Mike Penning said:
“Whilst I welcome the fact that the decision was called-in by the Secretary of State, rather than let the airport owners, Luton Borough Council, run roughshod over the process, I am very disappointed with the result.
“The increased noise and pollution will affect the people of Hertfordshire and not the people of Luton who get all the financial benefits.
“The decision to allow increased number of flights—the expansion will almost double Luton airport—was fundamentally opposed by me, other local MPs and residents, and it will be a very sad day when it goes ahead.”
Photo: Sir Mike Penning speaking in the debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday 18 October.