Date published: 2nd February 2015
  • Latest polling and new document show growing support for Gatwick from public and politicians, airports, city analysts and business groups
  • Polling highlights environment and economy as Londoners’ top 2 issues in airport expansion debate
  • Gatwick CEO: “Londoners have backed Gatwick over Heathrow once again and clearly want a balance between the economy and environment that only Gatwick can deliver”

On the eve of public consultation ending on airport expansion, new YouGov polling released today shows that Londoners have backed Gatwick expansion over Heathrow for the 5th consecutive month.

In the latest YouGov polling of 1,041 Londoners, when given a straight choice about which airport should expand 43% picked Gatwick over 36% for Heathrow*. The results mark the 5th consecutive month of polling to show Londoners backing Gatwick over Heathrow.

The polling also highlighted “noise and air quality for local residents” and “economic benefits” as the two most important issues for Londoners, supporting Gatwick’s view that a balance between economy and environment is a crucial part of the expansion decision.  

Londoners picking “air quality” as one of the most important issues is particularly significant following the Mayor of London announcing a “series of strong measures to tackle air quality” and the Evening Standard saying “London’s toxic air demands far more drastic solutions”.

Gatwick expansion would have a fraction of the impact of Heathrow which regularly breaches air quality standards today and where expansion would see a further 130,000 planes over central London. Some 320,000 people would be newly affected by noise from Heathrow with new London areas flown over including densely populated boroughs in Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster and Richmond upon Thames.

Londoners also picked Gatwick over Heathrow in several other key areas of the expansion debate including: lowest cost to the taxpayer (34% choosing Gatwick against 21% for Heathrow), deliverability (30% Gatwick, 23% Heathrow), greater competition (38% Gatwick, 24% Heathrow), and local regeneration benefits (37% Gatwick, 27% Heathrow).

The polling is included in a new document outlining the support for Gatwick across a range of audiences including: regional airports like Birmingham and Edinburgh; leading UK entrepreneurs such as Emma Jones MBE; politicians and councils such as East Sussex, Croydon and Windsor & Maidenhead; city analysts and business groups. Their support covers a range of areas including the deliverability of Gatwick's plans, the greater competition and lower fares it would create, and the improved connections it would deliver for the UK.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:

"This latest polling shows Londoners backing Gatwick over Heathrow once again and clearly shows they want a balance between the economy and environment that only Gatwick can deliver.

“Where Heathrow expansion means 130,000 more planes over Central London and further breaches of air quality, Gatwick would have a fraction of the impact, delivering the economic benefits the UK needs at an environmental cost it can afford.

"We are also seeing support build throughout the UK across the public and politicians, regional airports, entrepreneurs and business groups. Heathrow have tried and failed for decades to expand yet in just over a year, huge momentum has gathered behind Gatwick's credible and compelling case for a new runway.” 


*Total sample size was 1,041 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 22nd January 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+). The research was commissioned by Gatwick and carried out by YouGov – full results are available on YouGov’s website.