McLaughlin & Harvey and Buckingham Group Contracting join Whitemountain as principal contractors on the airport’s redevelopment


London Luton Airport (LLA) has confirmed McLaughlin & Harvey, a UK-wide building and civil engineering company with headquarters in Northern Ireland, will be the principal contractor on an £51million project to redevelop and expand the airport terminal.


LLA also confirmed Buckingham Group Contracting secured an £8million contract to construct a new 1,700 space multi-storey car park at the airport. Whitemountain was announced as the first principal contractor in November following a £12million tender to build a new bus interchange, improved drop-off facilities and airport road upgrade.  Future development works to the airport’s taxiway network will also commence later this year with final completion in 2026.


The contractors have been confirmed on the day the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, visited London Luton Airport to mark the official ground-breaking of the combined £110million project. A recent report by independent consultancy Oxford Economics* predicts the works will add an extra 10,000 jobs and £1billion per year to the economy by 2030.


The transformation now underway at LLA will not only significantly improve the experience for passengers, but also increase annual capacity by 50% from 12 million to 18 million passengers by 2020. LLA saw the fastest rate of passenger growth of all major London airports in 2015, up 16.9% in its busiest year on record.


McLaughlin & Harvey, whose previous infrastructure experience includes projects at Aberdeen, Prestwick and George Best Belfast City airports, will be responsible for delivering the terminal redevelopment. The work will see the internal layout significantly expanded and remodelled to increase capacity. When fully complete in 2017, the redevelopment will deliver:

  • A brand new canopied entrance and exit plaza for protection against the weather
  • Expanded security search, baggage reclaim and immigration areas equipped with the latest technology for speedy passenger processing
  • Double the amount of retail and dining space. A tendering process is underway for 47 units covering Luxury, Affordable Luxury, High Street and Food & Beverage brands
  • Extra comfort and capacity with improved departure gates and a new passenger boarding pier
  • Extensions of the airfield taxiways to improve operating efficiencies


Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “The appointments of McLaughlin & Harvey and Buckingham Group Contracting, alongside Whitemountain, represent a significant milestone for LLA. With construction now well underway, passengers will quickly see the airport being transformed.


“As the Transport Secretary made clear at today’s ground-breaking event, expansion at LLA is strategically vital to ensure that we can meet rapidly rising demand for air travel in the SouthEast. Our £110 million transformation is also set to give a huge boost to the local economy and will create thousands of new jobs for local people.”


David Larmour, Construction Director at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “McLaughlin & Harvey is delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract in what is one of the UK’s top airports. The works, which are to meet the increased demand from passengers, will last approximately two years and will reorganise the existing facilities and add additional space to retail and airside passenger capacity.”


Ian McSeveney, Managing Director Civil Engineering at Buckingham Group Contracting, said: “We are delighted to have secured this important aspect of the transformation at London Luton Airport. We are looking forward to working with the Airport Team and other contractors to deliver a scheme that will benefit passengers and support the creation of new jobs for local people”


Latest Issue

BDC 299 December 2022