The government has welcomed the completion of the first phase of a £150 million transformation of Luton airport.

A new road network, a 1,700 multi-storey car park and a remodelled and expanded bus and coach terminal has been completed in the first stage of development of the airport.

Construction is already underway on a second phase, which will see the airport terminal redesigned to double the size of its immigration, security search and retail and dining area.

The redevelopment will increase the airport’s capacity by 50%, from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year when fully completed in 2020.

The project is forecast to create 10,500 new jobs and contribute an additional £1 billion to the UK economy by 2030.

The airport is operated by Spanish company AENA, in partnership with major European investor Ardian.

International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox said during a visit by the king of Spain to the UK: “I’m delighted to welcome the ongoing role Spanish investment is playing at Luton airport, expanding capacity at this key transport connection.

“Every year millions more people will be able to visit London and the rest of the UK for business ensuring the UK remains Europe’s number one destination for Spanish direct foreign investment.

Luton airport chief executive Nick Barton said: “London Luton Airport is a fantastic example of the close partnership between the UK and Spain.

“LLA is the fastest growing major airport in the UK. The support and experience of AENA has been a key contributing factor to our success.

“LLA’s transformation will provide much-needed air capacity for the south-east and improve the experience of the millions of passengers who travel with us each year.”