London Luton EGGW LTN
London Luton airport is the sixth busiest airport in the UK, catering for just under 10 million passengers in 2013. The majority of routes cater for destinations within Europe, and a few further afield. Luton is home to many low cost carriers, and a few British tour operators.
Current METAR
Key Details
Name London Luton
Latitude 51.87469864
Longitude -0.36833301
Elevation 526 ft

Aircraft which are departing London Luton IFR should, wherever possible, file a Standard Instrument Departure (SID).  When following a SID, due to the interaction with other routes, initial altitudes must be observed.  The maximum speed under FL100 is 250KIAS

Positioning flights to London Heathrow Airport or Northolt will be cleared to BNN VOR via Non Airways Departure Routes November or Uniform as appropriate and will be allocated a level within controlled airspace prior to departure. 

Taxiway restrictions:

Wide bodied aircraft must not route via Echo 1 in any direction. Maximum size B757/A321 permitted under power. 

Aircraft up to size of a B763 may use the compass base. (Q1)

On first contact with Luton ATC you must state your aircraft type, stand number, ATIS code letter (if received) and the QNH you currently have. Before pushback, aircraft will be asked to state whether they require a backtrack for departure.

Aircraft who are inbound via a STAR must follow the routing and level/speed restrictions as laid out in the appropriate chart.  Normally, on the network aircraft will be vectored from either ABBOT or BKY to final approach descending where appropriate.  Aircraft must not however proceed beyond LOREL or ABBOT without ATC clearance but instead should enter the hold at either ABBOT or LOREL and await further instructions.  Essex Radar (ESSEX_APP) handle's the stacks and these are detailed below.  

LOREL: (Left hand turn's, Inbound Course: 189)

ABBOT: (Right hand turn's, Inbound Course: 267)

1 minute legs. Standard Holding Speeds for the LTMA apply.  (Up to and including FL140: 220kts, At FL150 and above Standard ICAO Holding Speeds)

From the stacks Essex Radar will hand inbound aircraft to Luton Radar who will vector the aircraft onto base and finally final approach for the appropriate runway.

Aircraft should not vacate via taxiway C upon arrival at Luton, unless instructed to do so by ATC.

VFR Circuits

VFR circuits are to the south of the airfield at an altitude of 1500ft or a height of 1000ft.  Aircraft wishing to fly VFR circuits should indicate this on initial contact with Luton Ground and expect taxi instructions to the relevant holding point.  Once at the hold clearance will be granted,subject to current traffic situations.  


  • A1 (M) Junction 4 (SE)
  • Kimpton Hall (SE)
  • M1 Junction 8 (S)
  • M1 Junction 9 (S)
  • Hyde (S)
  • Pirton (N)
  • Offley (N)



Aircraft who wish to depart the zone should contact Luton Ground for taxi clearance to the relevant holding point. Once at the holding point Luton Tower will issue the zone exit clearance via the appropriate VRP and usually instruct the aircraft to maintain an altitude of not above 1500ft.  Once the aircraft is airborne and clear of any other traffic in the ATZ (Aerodrome Traffic Zone) it will be handed off to Luton Radar. 


Aircraft wishing to enter the Luton CTR/CTA should contact Essex Radar at least 5 minutes before the CTR/CTA boundary.  VFR flights will be instructed to route towards the relevant VRP and if there is a delay remain clear of the CTR/CTA. Clearance to enter the CTR/CTA will usually have an altitude restriction of not above 1500ft to reduce any conflict with IFR flights.  Once the aircraft is visual with the airfield they will be handed off to Luton Tower.  


Aircraft flying VFR should, wherever possible, file a flight plan to assist controllers in facilitating the requested routing.  VFR Pilots are also strongly recommended to have either an appropriate VFR Chart or for flying within the Luton Control Zone and Control Area Chart 2-EGGW-4-1)

Additional Information

In the absence of Luton Radar, Essex Radar covers the position top down, and will therefore also cover the airport top down when no aerodrome control positions are online.

Special VFR

Special VFR clearance may be given to aircraft wishing to fly within the Luton CTR if the traffic situation permits.  Aircraft will normally be cleared to not above altitude 1500ft and use the North/South lane utilising the following VRPs:

  • Pirton
  • Offley
  • M1 Junction 8
  • Hyde

Aircraft will generally cross the airport at the mid point for Runway 08/26.  

Pilots must remain clear of cloud and insight of the surface at all times.  

SVFR Clearances will not be issued when there is a reported visibility of 1800m or less and/or a cloud ceiling of less than 600ft.  

Helicopter Operations

Helicopter's operating under VFR will normally be required to route via the following VRP's.

  • From/To the North: (Pirton - Offley)
  • From/To the South and South East: (A1 [M], Junction 4 - Kimpton Hall  - Hyde)
  • From/To the South and Southwest: (M1, Junction 8 - M1, Junction 9 - Hyde)
  • From/To London Stansted: (Puckeridge - Kimpton Hall - Hyde)

Typically helicopters will be restricted to not above altitude 1500ft on the Luton QNH.  

As there is no Helicopter landing area, helicopters arriving or departing from/to south of the aerodrome may be instructed to land/takeoff at Bravo 1 or Charlie 1.   All other helicopters are required to land and takeoff via the main runway.  

IFR Departures:

Aircraft not departing via a SID should pass their requested routing to Luton Ground on initial contact. All Non Standard departures will require a release from Luton Radar and may require coordination with other ATC.  In periods of heavy traffic pilots are advised that non standard departures may be refused and that they should, wherever possible, file a SID. 

All IFR departures must follow the relevant noise abatement procedure for the runway in use. These can be found in EGGW AD Textual Dta Section 2.21. 

IFR Arrivals:

Aircraft wishing to enter the Luton CTA or CTR should request clearance to do so at least 10 minutes before the CTA/CTR  boundary.   When clearance has been received, the inbound aircraft will be routed to integrate with the current traffic situation.  


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