In a debate as sensitive and politicised as where to build the south east’s sorely-needed new runway, both Gatwick and Heathrow knew they needed to win over public opinion – hence London and its surrounds being plastered with ‘Gatwick, obviously’ and ‘Heathrow: Taking Britain further’ ads for the last year or so.
And even though the Airports Commission, led by MT diarist Sir Howard Davies, plumped for a third runway at Heathrow in July, the government has given itself until the end of the year to dither. So Gatwick is fully aware the fight for hearts and minds is not yet over – and has come out swinging.
In a 49-page report published yesterday, the smaller airport set out a lengthy list of criticisms of Davies’ two-and-a-half year, £20m study. The main points were: