News that judicial review proceedings are being launched even before the Airports Commission makes a decision should come as no surprise as whichever option is chosen will attract challenges from opponents.
The first salvo is that because Commission chair Sir Howard Davies is about to take a post at the Royal Bank of Scotland and both rival airports have accounts there, he will benefit financially from choosing one of them. Considering he has been tasked with selecting a runway and drew up the shortlist before his appointment, this is unlikely to succeed, but is a taster of what is in the offing.
Perhaps the government is right to delay endorsement of the decision until after legal challenges are likely to have been dealt with.
Today, a group of residents in south-west London launched an application for a judicial review of the Airports Commission's work. It is first legal challenge to the commission's work. And speaking to members of the Teddington Action Group, they certainly believe it will be the first of many. Each will delay the commission's findings being implemented - if the government even agrees to them in the first place. My colleague Richard Westcott wrote about another legal challenge expected by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. And Gatwick has also said it is already considering its legal options should the commission back Heathrow.