Expanding Heathrow is a bad idea – it has to be Gatwick

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Guest post: Speech by Labour councillor Peter Carpenter at Wandsworth Council, July 8, 2015. Following the debate, the council unanimously passed this motion on airport expansion

I will confess not to having read the whole of the Airport Commission’s report, but I have read the 17 page Executive Summary which reads more like a polemic in favour of Heathrow, than the balanced judgement of an independent commission.

This is not the first time that Sir Howard Davies’ judgement has been brought into question. You will recall that in 2011 he had to resign as Director of the LSE because he thought that taking money from Colonel Gadaffi was a good idea.

I think we all agree that a third runway at Heathrow is not politically deliverable. But I am surprised, as an economist, Howard Davies thinks it is financially deliverable.

I am a businessman. What would I do if I were given the choice of investing £7 billion for a second runway at Gatwick, or £17 billion plus another £5 billion for public infrastructure upgrades (although TfL thinks it’s £10 billion) for a third runway a Heathrow? Continue reading