Most Britons believe airport capacity should be increased

The majority of Britons believe that the country's airport capacity should be increased, according to the July 2015 Ipsos MORI Political Monitor.

Public say the impact on natural environment and noise are the key considerations for airport expansion

The majority of Britons believe that the country’s airport capacity should be increased, according to the latest Ipsos MORI Political Monitor. Six in 10 (60%) say it should be increased with one in three (33%) disagreeing. Men, Conservative supporters, private sector workers, those in the South and the middle classes are most likely to support further expansion.


Among those who think that Britain’s airport capacity should be increased, three in 10 (30%) say a new airport should be built. Another 24% say that Gatwick Airport should be expanded with a second runway and a further 22% prefer a third runway at Heathrow. Fourteen per cent say an airport other than Heathrow or Gatwick should be expanded (with Birmingham, Manchester and Stansted amongst those mentioned).


Two in five (39%) say that Government should take into account the impact on the natural environment as an important consideration when deciding where a runway should be built. Three in ten (30%) say noise pollution should be a key factor, followed by generating jobs and growth and support from local residents (both 15%).


Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

“Most Britons want our airport capacity increased, but there is no clear consensus on the best solution – remembering that this poll covered the whole country, not just London and the South East. At the moment, the public’s view is dominated by concerns about environmental impact and noise rather than jobs or cost.”
Technical Note Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,026 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 18-20 July 2015. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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