Gatwick Airport criticises Airport Commission's backing for Heathrow expansion as unfair and "flawed"

Clara Guibourg
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The final decision on London's airport expansion is up to the government (Source: Getty)

Gatwick has hit back at the Airports Commission, calling its report recommending a Heathrow expansion “flawed” and unfair.

The airport criticised the report for falling short of requirements of balance and fairness.

After three years’ deliberation led by Sir Howard Davies, the Airports Commission released its long-awaited report two weeks ago, backing a third runway at Heathrow, rather than expanding Gatwick.

Gatwick Airport has now accused the report of flawed forecasts and data, underestimating future traffic at Gatwick and glossing over the impact a Heathrow expansion would have on noise pollution in the area.

Sir Roy McNulty, chair of Gatwick Airport, commented:

Our view has always been that the assessments on which the Commission’s conclusions are based must be thorough, balanced, fair and well evidenced.

We believe that the Commission’s report falls short of this standard in a number of very important respects. As a result, the many strengths of Gatwick and the many challenges of Heathrow are underplayed, leading to a conclusion which we believe is flawed.

Although it did recommend a Heathrow expansion over Gatwick, the Airports Commission has maintained that a new runway at Gatwick is also still a “credible” option.

The final decision, however, will be up to the government, and may not come for another six months yet.

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