Park and Go: Luton Airport Parking - Airport History

Please find below a brief history of Luton Airport which we hope that you will find useful. If you wish to make a booking then please click on the appropriate link on your left. Alternatively you can call our office, where one of our helpful staff will only be happy to help.

London Luton Airport is one of the UK's fastest growing airports. London Luton Airport was officially opened on 16 July 1938, by the Right Honourable Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for Air. It was owned by the Borough of Luton .

  • Number of terminals: 1
  • Number of passengers: Over 7 Million
  • Number of destinations: Approximately 63
  • Number of runways: 1

During world war two, the airport became a base for 264 Fighter Squadron, it was also an important manufacturing site where a series of aircraft for both civilian and military use were being built by the Percival Aircraft Company.

After the war the airport resumed its service and development for civilian use and by 1952 had opened a new control tower.

In the 1950's and 1960's holidays became more affordable and combining this with transport and accommodation arrangements we saw the birth of The 'package holiday'. This allowed many people to travel abroad for the first time and laid the foundations of the immensely successful inclusive tour holiday market.

London Luton became recognised as an integral part of the London airport system in 1978 on the publication of a Government White Paper. Preparations were started by the airport's committee to take London Luton Airport into the 1990s with the ability to receive five million passengers per annum. Part of the development plan was for a new international terminal building, this was completed and opened in 1985 by HRH The Prince of Wales.

There were numerous alterations and upgradings made between 1992 and 1996. These included a new air traffic control tower, the extension and refurbishment of the passenger terminal, a new cargo centre, a new access road, extension to the car parking facilities and the installation of Category 3 Instrument Landing System.

By 1998/9 the number of passengers had increased to 4.4 million and London Luton Airport had become the UK's fastest growing major airport according to Civil Aviation Authority statistics. If the Airport was to expand any further, additional financial investment had to be secured. This came about in August 1998 with the signing of a unique private-public partnership. As a result of the new financial backing, an £80 million development programme was put in place.

In the subsequent years further changes have taken place at London Luton Airport to accommodate the ever increasing demands placed on it. One of these changes was the construction and opening in Summer 2000 of the airports first ever chapel. The chapel seats 30 people and can be used by people of all faiths as a quiet place for personal reflection.