The government’s policy of restricting airport growth in the South East has majority support, with 57% agreeing expansion should be limited “to protect the local environment” and 51% backing it to reduce climate change, according to a Department for Transport (DfT) survey.
However, the study suggests many people hold conflicting views.
Almost half of respondents (47%) agreed on building new runways and terminals to boost the economy, and four out of ten would support expansion of their local airport – although this was five percentage points lower than in a similar survey in 2006.
The most common reasons for opposing expansion were increased noise, pollution and road congestion.
Four out of five air passengers agreed airport developers should be required to improve transport links.
The survey found the overwhelming majority currently travel to airports by car or taxi. Only 12% use public transport.
There is a substantial market for parking, with 45% driving themselves to the airport and leaving their car and a further 6% taking a lift from someone who leaves their car at the airport. One in five took a taxi and 17% were dropped off by family or friends.
Passengers travelling from London airports were almost three times as likely to use public transport as those flying from regional airports.
The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults was conducted in February and published last week.