Fewer business flights in UK mean less justification for airport expansion, claims WWF

Earlier this year the Federal government announced plans to have Toronto’s third airport at Pickering in operation by 2027. The stated justification is that “The demand is here”.

A report published by WWF in the UK suggests that, at least in that country, the demand for more flights may not be there. WWF states that:

  • Business flying at Heathrow has fallen by 23% since 2000 – and not because of capacity or the recession.
  • It’s part of a broader trend. Across the UK, business trips by air are down by 13% since 2000.
  • The share of UK flights taken for business purposes has dropped steadily for many years, and is now just 16%
  • Smart companies know that flying less and using technology more saves time and money.
  • Working with WWF, leaders such as Microsoft UK and BT have thrived by reducing flights by 20% in just a few years.
  • Many FTSE 500 companies are making a permanent shift towards lower-carbon alternatives to flying. Videoconferencing will grow from 36 million users in 2011 to a projected 219 million users in 2016.
  • Any new runway [at Heathrow] would be used mainly for leisure trips, which may actually shrink the UK economy.
  • British businesses are profiting by flying less.

GallonDaily is not aware of a source of compiled data for Canada that is comparable to the WWF UK report.

The report, which is in the form of an infographic, or slide deck, can be found at http://www.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/get_your_business_involved/one_in_five_challenge/no_business_case_for_airport_expansion/

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