Sir Howard Davies, speaking at the Runways UK event, took issue with the Mayor of London’s comments on his report.
While generally accepting the media coverage as fair, he said he was unhappy with Boris Johnson’s comment that his report’s recommendation “is the type of thing that would have happened in 1950s China”.
Davies strongly refuted this and gave a robust defence. He said that a proposal for a Thames Estuary Airport that would require 1600 homes to be demolished, would cost the taxpayer £50bn, would require three other airports to close and would displace 120,000 jobs “was rather more Chinese than our recommendation”.
Davies also took issue with a report that said that the recommendation is “undemocratic”.
He said the report is clear that nothing should, be done outside the democratic process and that normal planning processes need to be respected.
In another comment directed partly at the Mayor, he commented that it was actually those opponents of expansion who threaten direct action such as lying down in front of bulldozers that are guilty of the accusation levelled at the Commission, if expansion goes ahead after it has been democratically approved .