There may be a war of words at the moment between protestors and the airline industry at the climate camp outside Heathrow over the damage caused to the climate by aviation, but there is more bad news for the aviation industry.

A major public survey has shown that public attitudes to flying have hardened in favour of a tax on air travel to try to curb harmful the CO2 emissions that cause global warming. The survey, published by the Office for National Statistics showed that 44 per cent now support the idea that those who fly should bear the cost of the environmental damage they cause.

The findings suggest a growing number of people in Britain would support an extra tax on airlines to deter more people from flying. Only 31 per cent said they were opposed to taxing air travel for environmental reasons and 25 per cent said they were flying less because of their worries about climate change.