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15 April 2016, 12:06 | Updated: 15 April 2016, 12:16
Plans for a state-of-the-art £200m mass passenger transit system have been unveiled today, to link Luton Airport with the Luton Airport Parkway railway station.
From 2020, airport passengers who currently use a transfer bus to go from Luton Airport Parkway station to the airport will instead use a transit service.
Work could start as early as next year and be completed by the end of 2020.
It is expected that the rail link will be similar to the shuttle used to connect Gatwick Airport's two terminals, while the cost is not expected to be more than the existing charge for the bus service which is in operation at Luton.
Construction is already under way on the airport's separate £110m redevelopment which will increase its capacity by 50% to 18 million annual passengers in four years.
The airport's chief executive, Nick Barton, described the new rail link as a "step change".
He told the Press Association:
"What we have at the moment is adequate. You can get from the station to the terminal building on public transport. It's not a great experience and it's not going to be good enough for the airport as we carry on growing.
This will transform the way that the train relates to the terminal."
Some 12.3m passengers used the airport in 2015, up 17% on the previous year.
LLAL chairman Andy Malcolm said:
"Luton is the fastest growing airport in the UK and enjoys excellent road links to London and the North while Luton Airport Parkway also gives excellent rail connectivity to the capital and the Midlands.
The scheme we are announcing today will provide a seamless five-minute transfer time between Parkway station and the airport terminal.
A total journey time of less than 30 minutes from St Pancras to the airport will beat the time from Liverpool Street to Stansted by 20 minutes and better the time from Victoria to Gatwick too."
The airport currently serves 123 destinations with airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air.