CAA air passenger survey 2012 confirms low % of passengers on business, and high % of AB and C1 flying

The CAA Air Passenger Survey for 2012 has been published. It covered  Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Exeter, Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Luton, Manchester and Stansted Airports. (Each year it covers a slightly different selection). Over 210,000 departing passengers were questioned. Some of the interesting findings from the survey were:  Heathrow had 37% connecting passengers; London City airport had the highest proportion on business, at 54% (down from 63% in 2010);  Heathrow had 32.4% on business; Gatwick 17.5%; Manchester 23.9 %; Stansted 15%; Luton 16.1%; Birmingham 22.5%.  The survey also looked at the socio-economic group of passengers. In the categories C2, D and E, Heathrow had 19.9%; London City airport 14.6%; Gatwick 26%; Stansted 29.3%; Manchester 43.4%; Luton 28.9%; Birmingham 33% and Bristol 35.3%. By contrast around 45% of the UK population are classed by polling organisations at C2,D+E.  For the London airports, the AB group fly a disproportionate amount.



CAA reveals London 2012 impact on UK airport passenger numbers

5 November 2013

Survey is at  2012 Passenger Survey 

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published the results of its 2012 passenger survey yesterday, revealing the impact of last year’s Olympic Games on passenger numbers at Britain’s airports.

The CAA carries out its annual passenger survey to improve its understanding of the people who use the UK’s airports. Despite overall passenger numbers between July and September in 2012 falling compared to the same period in 2011, the results published today show over 800,000 passengers passed through London’s airports for Olympic-related journeys during these months. 54% of these journeys were at Heathrow (above), with the next highest proportion at Gatwick (18%).

Unsurprisingly the majority (71%) of these Olympic journeys were for leisure with visitors heading to the UK to enjoy the London 2012 experience. However, almost a third (29%) of these journeys for business purposes – which would include many of the 10,000 athletes who attended the Games.

The 2012 survey questioned over 210,000 departing passengers at five London airports (City, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted) as well as Birmingham, Manchester, East Midlands, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter).

Other key findings from the CAA’s 2012 Air Passenger Survey include:

• Heathrow is the only airport surveyed in 2012 where the majority of passengers were foreign residents (59%). By contrast, Exeter had the smallest proportion of foreign residents using the airport (9%).

Heathrow had the highest proportion (37%) of connecting passengers using the airport, up by three percentage points from 2011. By comparison, Bristol, Cardiff and East Midlands airports all saw less than 1% of their passengers using the airport to change aircraft.

• London City had the largest proportion of passengers travelling for business (54%). However this represents a 9% drop since 2010 (when the airport was last surveyed) as a greater proportion of leisure passengers have used the airport. The next highest was Heathrow with 30%, whilst the airports with the highest proportion of leisure passengers were East Midlands 91%, and Bristol and Cardiff both with 86 per cent.

• Travellers from Heathrow took a higher proportion of trips (21%) lasting more than two weeks than anywhere else. In contrast, London City had the lowest proportion of the London airports at only 4%. Outside of London, the highest percentage of trips over two weeks was recorded at Manchester, with 13.4%. The lowest was at Cardiff at 5.2%.


Iain Osborne, group director of Regulatory Policy at the CAA, said: “Last year’s Olympics put London and the UK in the spotlight and today’s survey results show the impact the Games had on passenger numbers at our airports. Almost a million visitors flew into London for the Olympics, but overall passenger number s fell.

“The CAA passenger survey results also offer an invaluable insight into the people who use UK airports and why they do so. As such, they provide a vital resource for the aviation industry to use to ensure their services meet the changing needs of today’s air passengers.”

A summary of the Passenger Survey is available to download for free from the CAA website at .




From the CAA air passenger survey 2012

Proportion of business passengers

CAA passenger survey business 2012

So putting these figures together, to get the totals of business passengers, this comes to 24% for all the airports in the CAA survey – table rearranged below to make this more clear.

CAA business passengers 24 percent  2012

The total for all business passengers at the airports in the survey is 24% (of which 19.5% were on international business).

For Heathrow the total on business was  32.4% (19.9% international)

For Gatwick the total on business was  17.5% (12.6% international)

For London City Airport the total on business was 54% (41.8% international)

For Stansted the total on business was  15% (12.3% international)

For Manchester the total on business was 23.9% ( 17.3% international)

For Luton the total on business was 16.1% (12% international)

For Exeter the total on business was 26.2% (5.8% international)

For Birmingham the total on business was 22.5% (15.2% international)

For Bristol the total on business was  15.5% (8.1% international)

For Cardiff the total on business was 32.1% (15.3% international)




 Socio-economic group of passengers surveyed

Below is the table showing socio-economic group of passengers, with the % in the three lowest groups added separately, by AirportWatch.

About 45% of the UK population were in the categories C2DE in 2008, with 29% in C1 and 27% in AB.  link

CAA air passenger socio-economic group 2012

The classifications are based on the occupation of the head of the household.

GradeSocial classChief income earner’s occupation
Aupper middle classHigher managerial, administrative or professional
Bmiddle classIntermediate managerial, administrative or professional
C1lower middle classSupervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
C2skilled working classSkilled manual workers
Dworking classSemi and unskilled manual workers
Enon workingCasual or lowest grade workers, pensioners, and others who depend on the welfare state for their income, this also includes students.

About 45% of the UK population were in the categories C2DE in 2008, with 29% in C1 and 27% in AB.  link



 Link to 2012 Air Passenger Survey  2012 CAA Pax Survey Report
Link to 2011 Air Passenger Survey   2011 CAA Pax Survey Report
Link to 2010 Air Passenger Survey   2010 CAA Pax Survey Report
and 2009
and 2008
and so on ………………….