Most Londoners think the capital has enough airport capacity already

A Government-backed commission is set to recommend an increase in capacity, however

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Indy Politics

The vast majority of Londoners think the capital already has an adequate level of airport capacity for a major global city, new opinion research has found.

A poll by ComRes found that only 24 per cent of people living in London believe the capital’s airport capacity is inadequate, while 63 per cent say it meets or exceeded their expectations.

The finding comes weeks before the expected publication of the Davies Review into air travel in the capital, which is expected to recommend an increase.

“Additional capacity will need to be provided,” the commission’s chair Sir Howard Davies told the Independent in 2013.

The review, commissioned before the election, has seen both Heathrow and Gatwick airports hire extensive lobbying and public relations operations to vie to be the favoured option.

But the new research, commissioned by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, found that all age groups, social classes, genders, and regions of London believe that capacity was in line with their expectations.

In a parallel survey, most London businesses also believe that airport capacity met their expectations, albeit by a smaller margin of 52 per cent to 37 per cent.

 

The same poll found that the sufficient availability of housing was by far the bigger investment priority for Londoners, with 70 per cent of residents and 74 per cent of bosses saying it was important.

Local transport infrastructure was also a far greater concern than airport capacity.

Around 11 per cent of flights abroad are accounted for by business travel; London has the largest airport system of any city in the world, with passenger traffic outstripping New York and Tokyo by millions every year.

It is currently served by Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and London City airports, with a new terminal and extended runway already built at Southend in recent years.

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