Long range air traffic forecasts for the UK: a critique

Geoff Riddington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper critiques the central and subsidiary forecasts that underpin technical discussions on runway and terminal capacity in the 2003 White Paper on the Future Development of Air Transport (Department for Transport, 2003). The central forecasts are based upon short run econometric specifications that may be questioned and lead to long run specifications that exclude key variables. This in turn leads to central UK forecasts that, despite initial appearance, are based on simple trend projection. The methods used to establish local demands are shown to be in conflict with 'best practice' for long range forecasting and to generate forecasts that 'stretch the imagination'. The conclusion is that they lack reliability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Transport, Economics and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006


  • air transport
  • economics
  • air traffic forecasts


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