The owners of a busy airport have promised a “full and robust” consultation process after its growth plan was questioned by MPs.

Luton Borough Council made the announcement after it emerged that London Luton Airport hopes to increase its passenger numbers to 38 million per annum, which is more than double the current figures.

It comes as part of its latest ‘Vision for Sustainable Growth’ for the years 2020 to 2050, which has been scrutinised by politicians from the region.

Bim Afolami, who represents Harpenden and Hitchin, accused the council of putting its own needs above those of people who are negatively affected by the changes.

Holding a debate in Westminster Hall, he said: “Luton Borough Council has one real interest: growing passenger numbers and therefore revenue for its airport.

“That interest has been pursued without any real consideration for the significant negative impacts on the people of Hertfordshire.

“As one of my constituents put it to me, Bedfordshire gets the gain, and Hertfordshire gets the pain.”

His words were backed up by St Albans MP Anne Main, who believes that expansion must not go ahead “if strong protections against further noise pollution are not deliverable and guaranteed”.

But the council noted how, as per their report, the application would be determined by the Government as opposed to itself.

It added how it wished to work with neighbouring authorities and communities and would consider all feedback "very carefully", using it to shape the proposal.

“We will make sure that we deliver a full and robust consultation process that ensures everyone gets the opportunity to have their say,” said Cllr Hazel Simmons, leader of Luton Council.  

“At every stage in the process we will balance essential regional and national economic and employment growth with the needs of communities, and minimise and mitigate the impacts we know a major airport brings.”