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Leicestershire, UK
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6 June 2006 PR 06/62

To fly or not to fly?

An air travel study being carried out by Loughborough University may help to forecast future passenger numbers and determine plans for airport expansion.

The research into people’s ‘Propensity to Fly’ will focus on the number of flights taken by people in the East Midlands. The study will include a survey of 1,000 East Midlands households, to identify air travel preferences.

Tim Ryley, Lecturer in Transport Studies at Loughborough University, said: “Individuals are flying more than ever before and over greater distances. The boom in low cost airlines has made air travel even more affordable.

“People used to go abroad once a year on holiday. These days, many individuals fly abroad three or four times a year for leisure trips. This increase in air travel may bring economic benefits but there are also important environmental implications.”

The research will take into account the impact of low cost airlines on leisure flights. Three of the best-known low-cost airlines – bmibaby, easyJet and Ryanair - are based at neighbouring Nottingham East Midlands Airport.

The research, which will take 30 months to complete, is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


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Notes for editors

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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