The 2M Group of Councils has written to Sir Howard Davies saying he has underestimated the costs of expanding Heathrow, as he has not included the cost of adding noise insulation to thousands of homes in London.
The group, who are opposed to expansion at Heathrow, have written to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin questioning why the commission’s appraisal framework for comparing airport expansion plans is coming out a month after the runway shortlist was decided.
The 2M councils argue that the review should have taken in to account what they say could be as much as £580m in costs for insulating all homes affected by noise. They say the commission has used the wrong noise metrics for deciding which houses should be insulated.
Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council and a 2M spokesman, said: “It’s astonishing that Heathrow can be shortlisted without understanding the true costs of mitigating the environmental and community damage that expansion would bring.”
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and a 2M spokesman, said: “Davies just hasn’t done the sums.”
The aviation industry believes noise is likely to decrease in the long term due to quieter more efficient plans, and so tends to discount arguments based solely on noise.