Luton Rising, Luton Council’s airport company, has been deeply honoured by the visit of His Majesty The King to the Luton DART today.

The Luton DART is an electrically-powered, energy-efficient, cable car that will transport airport passengers arriving by train at Luton Airport Parkway station to the airport terminal in just over three minutes.

Designed to encourage more people to leave their cars at home, decreasing carbon emissions by 70 per cent, it will offer a seamless journey from London St Pancras to the airport in as little as 32 minutes.

On the third leg of his official visit to the town, His Majesty boarded the cable-drawn fast passenger transit for the three-minute journey from Luton Parkway Station to the terminal of London Luton Airport.

Cllr Javeria Hussain, chair of Luton Rising, said: “His Majesty’s visit was such a powerful and memorable moment for the whole town, and it was an incredible privilege to have just some of the funding recipients we support in attendance.

“We are so grateful to have charities in Luton who make the town a better and more positive place to live, supporting those who are in need. These organisations provide an amazing service to Luton.”

She added: “At Luton Rising we put social responsibility at the forefront of our delivery, with 53 pence invested directly in the local community for every passenger travelling through the airport. We were delighted to be able to outline how the Luton DART and all our work is aimed at supporting the people of Luton.”

Graham Olver, Luton Rising Chief Executive Officer, said: “His Majesty talked with some of the 30 apprentices from the council, Luton Rising and our partners, who worked on the pioneering Luton DART programme. Creating opportunities for young and local people to enhance their employability and skills has been one of our priorities.

“Luton Youth Orchestra and performers from the UK Centre for Carnival Arts created an amazing atmosphere and His Majesty’s visit was an extraordinary honour for Luton.”

Alighting the Luton DART, His Majesty was greeted by London Luton Airport CEO Alberto Martin and introduced to the London Luton Airport community, including members of the airport’s cargo team, airside operations, chaplaincy, technical services, security and fire service, as well as local people working in the airport shops, EasyJet vaccination volunteers, the Project Wingman team, Wizzair volunteers, TUI representatives and the Ukrainian Welcome Hub team.

Before his departure, The King unveiled a plaque at the Luton DART Central Terminal station commemorating his visit.

More than 80 per cent of contractors’ materials spend and recruitment for the DART was sourced from within 20 miles of Luton, while the construction supported around 500 jobs across a range of disciplines and 80 full-time posts for local apprentices, graduates, and other new entrants.

Construction skills training was delivered for 720 people, of whom over 40% were drawn from traditionally under-represented groups.

London Luton Airport has been ranked as the best performing company for sustainability governance and disclosure, coming top of 181 transport companies across the globe and achieving a maximum score of 100 and five-star rating in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark assessment.