London City Airport Consultative Committee

Public Opinion Surveys

- 1982/83

Conclusions of LDDC and Newham Council Opinion Surveys on proposal to build London City Airport




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In the run up to the 1983 public inquiry into Mowlem's proposals to build a STOLport in the Royal Docks both the London Docklands Development Corporation and the London Borough of Newham (LBN) commissioned surveys of public opinion. The MORI poll for LDDC was completed in September 1992 while the NOP survey for the LBN reported in April 1993. Here are the conclusions:

Mori Survey for LDDC
NOP Survey for LBN

The Reports can be seen in full on our Archive Page

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MORI Survey of Residents' Attitudes for the London Docklands Development Corporation

- Summary

The vast majority (89%) are aware of the existence of a plan to build an airport in the Docklands. However, only 51% of this group (46% all residents) are aware of the exact location of the airport.

A majority (53%) of all residents support the plan to build an airport in Docklands whilst 22% are opposed to such a plan. The remaining 25% are undecided. Support for the airport is higher among those who attended the demonstration of the Dash 7 on the Isle of Dogs (the airport is supported by 79% of this group). Support is also slightly higher (59%) among those living in areas adjacent to the proposed airport site.

The most common source of information on the planned airport has been the local press. Forty-three per cent said they had seen reports in the local press. Thirty-seven per cent spontaneously mentioned having received a leaflet through their door and when prompted, this figure rose to 39%. Few could remember who the leaflet was from. Nearly half (49%) of residents living in areas adjacent to the proposed site recalled receiving a leaflet. Few residents were aware of any meetings having been held to discuss the STOLport proposals and a mere two per cent-claimed to have attended such meetings. Among those living close to the proposed airport site, attendance rose to seven per cent.

Whilst only eight per cent of residents attended the demonstration of the Dash 7 an the Isle of Dogs, 29% claimed to have seen the aircraft flying around the area and 41% had seen reports of the demonstration in the press or on television. When presented with a card showing (named) silhouettes of aircraft, 56% recognized the Dash 7 as the aircraft it was proposed to use, and 86% of this group (33% of all residents) believed that the Dash 7 was the quietest of the aircraft shown. Nonetheless, significant minorities believe that the airport would be used by helicopters (35%) or executive jets (33%).

When respondents were asked, without prompting, to name the likely effects of the airport, they most commonly mentioned noise (68%), improved job opportunities (66%).

Although noise appeared to come more readily to mind than job opportunities as a likely effect of the airport, residents were considerably more concerned. To a degree, opposition to the airport is based on a disbelief of the claims made by the airport's proponents; if what they say was believed, around a quarter of opponents could switch to supporting the proposals.

- Conclusions

The vast majoritv of residents are aware of the existence of plans for a STOLport but many are unaware of the details of such a plan. Most people see advantages and disadvantages, but, at present, rather more feel that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Significantly, the more knowledgeable tend to be more in favour of the proposals. There are indications that much of the opposition to the plans stems from a scepticism about the claims made by the airport's proponents, particularly about the number of jobs that would come to local people (they don't doubt that jobs would be created). In addition, there is considerable concern about how the airport might develop once it has been established. Many residents are worried about night flying and we would have thought that these were fears that could relatively easily be proved unfounded.

Finally, although we did not deal with the issue in any great detail, there are indications that many opponents of the scheme have an underlying concern about its safety; if their support is to be obtained, something must be done to allay these fears.

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NOP Research Report for the London Borough of Newham

- Conclusions

Awareness of the plan is very high - almost total in the area immediately around the airport. However the level of actual knowledge is not very high, with only a tiny minority professing to know a great deal about it. Despite this people were prepared to consider both advantages and disadvantages before reaching a conclusion.

The main advantage - almost the only advantage - was that the airport would provide employment both directly and indirectly, while the disadvantages most often sited were those of noise, traffic, pollution and the damage of crashes.

Overall reaction was favourable. Across the borough as a whole 42% approved of the plan and 20% disapproved.. In the area immediately around the airport the figures were 50% and 2l%.

Given the high number adopting a neutral position this cannot be seen as a clear mandate, but the popular view is that the airport should be built.

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An independent Consultative Committee established by London City Airport pursuant to Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982
John Adshead     Secretary: Stuart Innes

Page last modified: 20 June 2009