8herveg
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Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:00 pm

IMO, the layout of Luton Airport is pretty illogical. I know it's an old airfield and there have been multiple changes, extensions etc. over the years - but having looked at some photos from when it was first built, even the original terminal (I think?) was built where the old part of the current whole terminal is - quite some distance, relatively speaking, to the runway - and in quite an unusual position. I.e. it's not perpendicular to the runway. And so the taxiway and apron layout is subsequently quite odd too - curving around the terminal. If you look at Google Maps - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Nat ... 9?hl=en-GB - you'll see what I mean.

If you look at the Master Plan for LTN, you'll see plans for a 2nd terminal in a much more logical manner - perpendicular to the runway, and a lot closer too.

Anyone know the reason why the original terminal was built in this specific spot and at this particular angle?
 
SEU
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:04 pm

I too find the layout of Luton to be baffling.
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:10 pm

I do avoid Luton like the plague but from memory I think the terrain is not all flat around the airport. So might be a reason.
 
Bongodog49
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:37 pm

The best answer probably is that Luton airport way predates mass civilian travel, initially it was a typical municipal airport of the late 1930's with few facilities, it expanded rapidly due to being the manufacturing site for Percival aircraft who constructed more than 2000 aircraft on the site. It then became a heavy engineering base for a number of airlines. Thus the civilian traffic as initially less important and was pushed up a corner.
It should however have been properly redeveloped many years ago, the aircraft manufacturing has been gone over 50 years now.
 
arcticcruiser
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:58 pm

Agree on the horrible layout of Luton. Lack of investment and vision for decades. Manchester is another example of a horrible old airport with its ridiculous taxiway layout. And fixing that seems not to be on the airports agenda.
 
Cunard
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:13 am

[quote="arcticcruiser"]Agree on the horrible layout of Luton. Lack of investment and vision for decades. Manchester is another example of a horrible old airport with its ridiculous taxiway layout. And fixing that seems not to be on the airports agenda.[/quote

Manchester Airport are making some alterations to the taxiway layout as part of the airports redevelopment, it's not covering the entire layout but it will be a huge improvement on the existing layout.
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:56 am

Someone suggested to build 4 runways and new mega terminal to make LTN logical
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/hom ... 38.article
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:19 am

chunhimlai wrote:
Someone suggested to build 4 runways and new mega terminal to make LTN logical
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/hom ... 38.article

Only 4 runways? I came to this thread to see how many runways you were planning to fit into the area between Luton and Stansted to create a super-airport... :duck:

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
lhrnue
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:43 am

I actually find it quite amazing how much operation they can squeezes out of this tiny and constraint space.
 
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VS4ever
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:01 am

VirginFlyer wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
Someone suggested to build 4 runways and new mega terminal to make LTN logical
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/hom ... 38.article

Only 4 runways? I came to this thread to see how many runways you were planning to fit into the area between Luton and Stansted to create a super-airport... :duck:

V/F


Total lack of vision, I remember the post about wanting 6 runways at EXE and they don’t have Wizzair, LTN needs 10 at least.... j/k
That feeling when you sit at the end of a runway, brakes are released and the raw power takes over. Now that is a thing of beauty and it never gets old.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:39 am

8herveg wrote:
IMO, the layout of Luton Airport is pretty illogical. I know it's an old airfield and there have been multiple changes, extensions etc. over the years -

Anyone know the reason why the original terminal was built in this specific spot and at this particular angle?

senatorflyer wrote:
... from memory I think the terrain is not all flat around the airport. So might be a reason.
Terrain not flat. :shock:
Something of an understatement there; leaving LTN via runway 26 is a bit like launching from an aircraft carrier. Runway overruns are definitely not an option.

Would it help to bring up a couple of historical facts?
1) The existence of the grass runway 18/36 still used by the local flying club thru' the 70's, effectively boxing in the central terminal area between an active runway on two sides. The airfield itself was further constrained by a housing estate to the north, and a sheer drop down onto the Vauxhall factory to the west.
2) The main access road was via the Eaton Green Road (bordering the housing estate), and then into the airport itself routing between the old industrial buildings using Frank Lester Way.
This led you either to the "dark side" behind the maintenance hangars, or the public side which was an island comprising a clockwise road loop taking you right past the rear of the Britannia 737 hangar (now Easyjet) adjacent to the original terminal building. The photo below shows the scene sometime before the construction of the Britannia A/w hangar maybe circa 1968, taken from an a/c directly overhead runway 18/36 but probably on a slightly skewed heading of 340°. The cars neatly filling the paved parking area are on the inside of the extended oval loop. There are also a number of cars parked rather haphazardly on rough ground adjacent to the grass runway i.e. outside the traffic loop.

To summarise; this older terminal building was arranged nicely parallel to the road loop, which itself was constrained by the aforementioned runway 18/36.
With hindsight and a view to future expansion, obviously they should have done it differently. C'est la vie.

Image
Thx to Dailymail for the image above
Another image from about 10 secs earlier on the same overflight can be found here
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wK15GMaWfew/T ... t+1968.jpg

p.s. yes, that is a Britannia Airways Bristol Britannia at the terminal ( :lol: ), with another just visible inside one of the hangars
Love those oil stains on the horizontal tail surfaces. :evil:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
bhxalex
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:20 am

chunhimlai wrote:
Someone suggested to build 4 runways and new mega terminal to make LTN logical
https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/hom ... 38.article


What a load of cobblers
 
StTim
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:29 am

I think Luton is a testimony into how a quart is just about squeezed into a pint pot. It was a municipally owned airport with little money for grand expansion plans - yet somehow they have grown it, piecemeal, into an effective functioning airport.

The latest upgrades are the largest I have seen and do remove a number of the bottle necks of using the airport.

It is still illogically laid out but I cannot see that changing.
 
mwhcvt
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:45 am

I think ideally they would expand south but there are certain barriers to that one being some historic ruins but that could be avoided by moving development off to the west of the ruins, in my mind you could put in a second runway to the south and west of the existing runway, put in proper full length taxi ways to service both runways and then an whole new ramp and terminal facility to the south of this, I’d then move all operations over to the new south terminal thus allowing for a from scratch redevelopment of the old north area into a modern north terminal plus executive facilities and maintenance etc

Ideally the second runway would also be better suited to take wide bodies
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)
 
bendewire
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:41 pm

Having flown out Luton in the late sixties on Britannia 737 I can confirm it is like being launched from an aircraft carrier, there lies the problem. The airport is on what could be deemed a plateau so development is limited, throughout the sixties and seventies the volume of traffic (Largely Monarch, Court Line and Britannia) was quite low so departure from terminal and taxi to runway was pretty quick and little congestion. It would be interesting to see traffic figures for Luton in 1970 and 2018
 
Bongodog49
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:26 pm

Another factor to take in to consideration is that Luton airport is perched on top of the Chiltern Hills and is far more affected by poor weather conditions than the other "London" airports.

Our local TV station covers STN, LTN and SEN, closure of LTN is way more often than the others when we have any snow.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:25 pm

Luton is one of the weirdest airports I've ever operated into. Almost has that London City vibe over it, with planes and buildings crammed into every available corner.
Only went through the terminal once, looked like an unplanned mess.

It has the potential, but I would start by bulldozing the current terminal and many of the hangars, and starting over with a fresh sheet of paper.
 
Cunard
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Re: Why did Luton Airport build its original terminal in that specific position?

Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:25 pm

Those posting in this thread are obviously not aware of Luton Airports plans for a an additional terminal situated on what is currently Wigmore Park, a former council tip.

The rail link from Luton Parkway Station to Luton Airport which is currently under construction will eventually be extended to the site of the second terminal.

In saying that I'm definitely not a huge fan of Luton Airport I never have been. Even with the recent redevelopment it's still an awful airport experience and I can't see that changing, the layout is a mess and it all looks so cheap and nasty.

The plans for the second terminal at Luton Airport were discussed in a thread on a.net several months ago and are online for those that are interested.
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