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‘Fallible Forecasts’

21st April, 2008

A critique of the government’s air passenger and CO2 forecasts has been published.

In Nov 2007 the government published, at the same time as the Heathrow consultation, new forecasts for passenger demand and for CO2 emissions. The title is ‘UK air passenger demand and carbon dioxide forecasts’.

The forecasts are for the UK as a whole and for the big London airports. They revise the previous passenger demand forecasts published in 2000 and the carbon dioxide (CO2) forecasts published in 2004.

The forecasts are very important because they underpin the government’s policy of massive expansion of air travel and airports. The report was therefore studied by AEF and others in some detail.

A critique of the forecasts has been written by Brendon Sewill for Airport Watch. Fallible Forecasts (Word document, 15pp, 240 Kbytes). While AEF does not necessarily endorse all the points, we agree with the thrust and support the report’s conclusions.

A description of the forecasts and AEF’s comments on the passenger forecasts may be found in our ‘Demand and capacity‘ section and the CO2 forecasts in our ‘climate change – emission quantities‘ section.