Paris, Gatwick, Heathrow, And Montreal

Heathrow airport, which last year made a whopping £223m in profit, has spent more than £1.7m advertising its case across the Transport for London network. Gatwick airport, which made a substantial £141m in profit in the year to March 2016, has, similarly, spent more than £1.6m making its case to London’s commuters. Outside of spending that is subject to Freedom of Information requests, the costs of both campaigns are likely to exceed £7m – not including the cost of financing direct and indirect lobbying efforts. Who can forget the Heathrow-funded ‘community group’ set up to argue for the expansion of their paymaster’s airport? The campaigns have failed to escape criticism, critics have accused the airports of attempting to exert unfair influence over public and political opinion. They have, however, succeeded in setting the narrative: the ‘airport capacity crisis’ is now received wisdom.