Generated User Benefits and the Heathrow Expansion: Understanding Consumer Surplus

Commissioned by Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Author(s): Stanton, E.A. ; Ackerman, F.
Year: 2008

Research Area(s): Climate Economics

Description: This report responds to the decision of the UK Department for Transportation (DfT) to expand Heathrow Airport, a decision that was based on DfT's forecasts of the costs and benefits of the expansion. The use of the technical concept of consumer surplus threatens to conceal the underlying reality: DfT minimizes concerns about carbon emissions and other environmental impacts, and forecasts that a bigger airport must be better, simply because so many people will enjoy flying more. DfT also did not consider alternatives such as improved ground transportation, which will look much better if oil prices remain high.

Download PDF