Sir Howard Davies defends Airports Commission recommendation against Gatwick criticism

Emma Haslett
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Davies called the decision to expand Heathrow "clear and unanimous" (Source: Getty)

Sir Howard Davies has hit back against criticism of his conclusion that Heathrow should build a third runway by Gatwick chief Stewart Wingate.

In a statement today by Airports Commission chair Davies, who was the subject of a 50-page catalogue of criticisms published by Gatwick yesterday, Davies gave a withering response.

"This dossier appears to repeat many points which Gatwick made to the Commission in the course of its work and which, unsurprisingly, were carefully considered," he said.
"They did not alter the Commission’s view that Heathrow was the best option. Using colourful language, as Mr Wingate has done, does not turn weak points into strong ones, and does him and his company no credit."
Wingate's criticism came after a long-awaited report published in July recommended Heathrow as the best of three options to expand London's airport capacity, calling it a "clear and unanimous" choice.
Although Davies said building another runway at Gatwick was "credible", he said Heathrow was "best-placed to provide the type of capacity which is most urgently required".
The decision has been panned by critics, including those living nearby. However, business groups have called for urgent action, saying that after a three-year decision making process, London urgently needs better airport capacity.

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