Valuing air transportation and sustainability from a public perspective: evidence from the United Kingdom and the United States
journal contributionposted on 2013-11-07, 13:48 authored by Tim Ryley, Jonathan Burchell, Lisa Davison
One issue with air transportation and sustainability is that although aviation could be considered economically and socially sustainable, it does generate environmental concerns. The aim of this paper is to examine public attitudes towards air transportation and sustainability, in order to determine how individuals value sustainability in relation to air travel. This empirical paper is based on two large survey data sets, one from the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom and one from the East Coast of the United States. After an initial review of relevant literature and policy, a range of attitudinal statements from the surveys are examined. These statements cover the economic and social benefits of air transportation, the contribution of air travel to climate change, and environmental responses. The analysis demonstrates the high value individuals put on the economic and social sustainability aspects of air transportation. Although many acknowledge aviation's contribution to climate change, few are willing to respond in terms of paying more to offset the negative environmental effects of aviation or to fly less. When analysing the value of sustainability by population sub-group, flight frequency and gender are highlighted as key variables in terms of environmental attitudes.
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) [grant numbers EP/D053277/1 and EP/F012683/1].
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