New research by UK air traffic navigation services provider NATS suggests that the British public continues to have a positive view of aviation, despite increasing environmental concerns.

The survey – conducted in partnership with research consultancy firm Savanta Com Res – showed just over two thirds of respondents (67 per cent) believe the pros of aviation outweigh the cons.

This is despite the growing ‘flight shame’ movement, which is seeing an increasing number of travellers reducing or turning their backs on air travel, and calls for air miles to be axed or taxed to deter frequent fliers.

The research also found that only 37 per cent of the British public are willing to pay an environmental levy for the privilege of flying, and just 34 per cent believing that people should be discouraged from flying.

NATs also said that 93 per cent of those surveyed “see the most beneficial output of airspace modernisation being more efficient routes that save fuel and reduce environmental impact”.

Last summer the organisation warned that by 2030 there could be 50 times as many flight delays as there are today due to ageing airspace design.

Commenting on the results of the research Jane Johnston, Head of Corporate and Community Affairs at NATS, said:

“It is encouraging to see the positive views about aviation, but the figures also tell us that we clearly need to communicate our plans to modernise airspace and increase our engagement with the public on the changes that are coming so that they can get involved in the process.

“The environment is a priority as we look at redesigning our skies over the next few years. However, the results also show that the British public hold different priorities for the environment, with differing views over the importance given to reducing carbon emissions, shrinking noise profiles and routing flights over Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs).

“This demonstrates some of the challenges we have as we modernise flight paths and routes, but it is a challenge we need to deal with urgently if we want to secure a sustainable future for aviation.”

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