Public wants more flights

A London First poll shows support for aviation expansion outweighs opposition by three to one.

Far more people support enabling more flights from London airports than oppose, by a factor of 3 to 1, according to a new poll of UK voters commissioned by the business organisation, London First, and conducted by YouGov. Of the 1,045 respondents nationwide surveyed, 43% supported an increase in flights and 14% opposed. Support was highest among 25-34 year olds, at 51%.

At the same time the poll has revealed that almost half of Britons (46%) are concerned that if no measures are implemented in the next 10 years to enable more direct flights from the capital this will have a negative impact on economic growth, whilst fewer than one in ten (8%) think this would have a positive impact.

50% of respondents across the UK support making London Airports more accessible to those living outside the South East including the UK’s major cities – with strongest support polled in the West Midlands, where the figure rises to over six in ten (62%).

Almost half of Londoners polled support changes to enable more flights over the capital, whilst similar levels support the establishment of an independent noise regulator with the power to cut the noise that additional flights might cause.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First said: “The debate over airport expansion is often portrayed as the business community versus the wider community. What this poll suggests is that ordinary voters are also concerned that a lack of action to increase flights from London’s airports will stifle economic growth. Inaction is already costing the country billions in lost trade every year.

“In December the government will receive the initial recommendations of its Airports Commission on short-term measures to increase capacity. It needs to be ready to end the half-century of dithering that has plagued this issue and commit to swift action.”


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