Under the 30-year concession agreement, the council will receive an annual fee from the consortium, which comprises Airport Group International, Bechtel Enterprises and Barclays Private Equity. Luton will retain ownership of the site.
The move comes little more than a fortnight after the government announced council airports would be granted the freedom to borrow for capital investment (LGC, 19 June). But an airport spokeswoman said Luton's investment needs -£170m over 10 years - were too great for the council to have received borrowing approval, even under a relaxed borrowing regime.
Labour leader Roy Davis said: 'All the councillors supported the recommendations for this concession agreement. This unique partnership is an opportunity to develop a world class airport.'