Luton Airport calls in Four Communications for lobbying help

London Luton Airport has brought in PR and lobbying support as it plans to expand amid a national debate over air travel.

Lift-off: Luton airport wants to increase passenger numbers
Lift-off: Luton airport wants to increase passenger numbers

Four Communications has been charged with helping the airport’s owner – Luton Borough Council – as it prepares plans to grow capacity within the existing site.

The airport is currently carrying out a public consultation over plans, named futureLuToN:Optimisation, to grow passenger numbers from 10.5 million to 18 million by 2020. The move, which is currently in the planning stages, will not lead to an increase in the number of runways.

The news comes at a time when airports are seeking to take advantage of the Government’s decision to scrap plans for Heathrow’s third runway. Prime Minister David Cameron said this week: ‘We need to retain our status as a key global hub for air travel.’ He pledged to hold a consultation on whether to build an airport on the Thames Estuary.

Jim Dickson, head of public affairs at Four Communications, said: ‘We are working to be part of this broader discussion taking place at the moment.

‘There is a big debate about how the Government can increase airport capacity in the South East but without having the third runway.

‘That extra capacity might be provided in part by Luton.’

The brief, which is to run for at least a year, involves media liaison, as well as stakeholder engagement, including local residents, MPs and the Department for Transport.

Four Communications’ team will report to Steve Heappey, London Luton Airport’s lead officer.

Luton is currently used by nine passenger airlines, with the largest operator being easyJet, which has its headquarters at the airport.

The news follows London Stansted Airport bringing in Fishburn Hedges and Seventy Seven PR to counteract declining passenger numbers.

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