The new £40m terminal at Luton airport, the result of a unique public/private partnership, will be formally opened by the Queen next Wednesday. The new arrangements will also pose interesting challenges for brand-new finance director Phillip Adams, who has joined the airport from the Hilton hotel group, where he worked for the past nine years in a number of financial roles, most recently as vice-president finance for the UK. The airport says the new terminal has been opened to cater for the increasing number of passengers. They have risen from 1.9 million in 1995 to around 5 million today. Under the traditional private finance initiative, private-sector companies carry out the construction of the building which will be operated by a public-sector company. The arrangement with Luton involves the council and a consortium of investors. Luton will continue to own the building's freehold but the business is owned by the consortium, London Luton Airport Operations, for at least 30 years. Lead player in the consortium is Barclays Bank which has a total 65% of the airport's operations. Other shareholders are AGI, with 25% and Bechtel Enterprises with 10%. The new terminal cost £40m but the total investment in the has been around £85m, since there has also been extensive refurbishment of the original building as well as new aircraft stands and parallel taxiing. In his new role as finance director, Adams will be responsible for the financial control of the business and will have 24 staff reporting to him. He will also sit on the board of the airport operations company. Adams says the latest initiative 'will result in a £250m investment programme at the airport over the next ten years. 'My role is to ensure that we maximise benefits at the airport as we undergo further expansion'.
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