Unite is backing controversial multimillion-pound plans to expand Luton airport, just as reports signal that its operator might be selling up.
The union said today that the expansion could create up to 5,000 jobs and provide a boost for the local economy.
But there is a cloud over the issue because Spanish-owned Abertis may sell up.
Abertis operates the airport on a 30-year lease from owner Luton Borough Council, though reports suggest that the firm is considering options regarding all three of its British airport assets.
Its Cardiff airport contract is expected to be bought by the Welsh government next month while its Belfast airport and the Luton deal are also expected to come up for sale.
Luton council told the Morning Star that its officials would be "watching developments with interest" and said a "similar change of operator was seamlessly undertaken in 2005."
A spokesperson added: "Any company bidding to take over responsibility for the operation would also need to meet existing terms of the concession agreement including delivery of an investment programme.
"We do not anticipate that this would have any effect on the planning application should Abertis decide in March to sell the right to operate the airport."
Plans have been submitted to the local planning authority but many residents are against the idea because, according to the local media, they fear their lives would be made a misery by noise and disruption.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "Supporting the expansion of Luton airport is common sense. Unite fully supports the proposals along with the majority of respondents who took part in a consultation."