Gatwick still the preferred option

Gatwick still narrowly the preferred option for capacity increase

Broadly speaking voters seem to be supportive of expanding British air traffic capacity, with just under half (46%) agreeing that it needs to increase or it will damage the economy, while only a fifth (21%) think we should not expand British air traffic capacity any further.

However, it is apparent that the debate might not exactly be enthralling voters, with 56% agreeing that the current debate about airports doesn’t really affect them or their family.

The preferred options

Despite the huge controversy there has been surrounding this policy decision, there seems to be moderate support for most the possible options on the table, although the large proportion selecting “neither” or don’t know” for all options suggest it’s not something many have given much thought to.

However, Gatwick comes up trumps in this poll with 36% approving the building of a new runway at the airport in Sussex, and only 14% opposing.

Gatwick still the preferred option for capacity increase

Heathrow is far from an unpopular option but has does have more opposed to an extra runway there than at Gatwick (20% vs 14%).

As with when we last asked this in December 2013, a possible airport in the Thames Estuary, sometimes known as ‘Boris Island’, was the least favoured option for increasing air traffic capacity. Only a quarter supported it and almost as many opposed it (26% vs 24%).

Gatwick still the preferred option for capacity increase

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 1,961 GB adults aged 18+ from 3rd to 6th March 2015. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.