The Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) will speed travellers from Luton Airport Parkway station to the terminal of London Luton Airport in well under four minutes.
The project will provide a step-change in how passengers get to and from the airport, and is being funded and delivered by Luton Council’s airport company, London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL).
Scheduled to open in 2022, passengers will be able to travel between St Pancras and London Luton Airport in just 30 minutes using the fastest trains and seamless Luton DART transfer.
The scheme will be a double-shuttle, fully-automated people-mover, based on the latest system technology and design innovation, capable of operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cable-driven system is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The Luton DART complements the airport operator’s recent £160m transformation programme to deliver a truly world-class passenger experience at London Luton Airport.
Story so far
Work on the Luton DART will be completed in 2022. Below you can see some of the key moments along the way.
- July 2017: planning permission received
- December 2017: contractors appointed
- April 2018: start of works
- December 2018: opening of temporary new drop-off zone
- Autumn 2019: bridge installation
- Winter 2021: train installation
- 2022: open for service
Over the course of the DART project, up to 500 jobs and a number of apprenticeships are being created across a range of disciplines. Lead contractor VFK has committed to delivering a number of social value benefits, and Luton Council was delighted to secure £1m funding from the Government for a Construction Skills Training Hub at the works compound off Kimpton Road.
Construction Skills Training Hub
A pioneering joint venture from Luton Council, its airport company and Volker Fitzpatrick-Kier (VFK) to promote skills development concluded in March 2020, resulting in more than 720 people in the area receiving essential training to help them enter the construction industry.
The Construction Skills Hub was created in November 2018 on the primary works site of the Luton DART, with a £1m grant from the Construction Skills Fund (CSF), funded by the Department for Education and administered by the CITB.
Main contractor VFK developed and delivered a series of construction-specific training programmes to a variety of college students, career changers and others either unemployed or out of education. More than 300 of the delegates were attracted from traditionally under-represented groups.
In addition, VFK created more than 80 full-time new jobs on the DART for local apprentices, graduates and other new entrants.
The scheme has also focused on supporting the trainees into permanent positions.
Over the course of the DART project, approximately 500 jobs are being created in a range of disciplines.
As part of its commitment to using and training a workforce, VFK has:
- taken on 30 apprentices throughout the life of the project
- provided work experience opportunities for 25 people in education and 15 people outside education, training or employment
- created 78 new jobs for local people
- attended at least 30 students’ careers information, advice and guidance events
- provided training and qualification for more than 250 of the sub-contractor workforce.
Meet the buyer
Construction of the Luton DART has provided a number of opportunities for local businesses. A large project like this needs skills, materials and employees from a wide range of sectors. Lead contractor VFK has already held a number of networking events for potential partners, and is always keen to hear if your services match its needs.
LLAL Community Funding
LLAL recognises on a wider level that there are inevitably some undesirable consequences from having a major airport on the doorstep, and is committed to achieving the right balance between economic benefits and environmental impacts. One of the most effective ways it does that is through investing in local communities.
You can read our Community Funding Policy here,