The long-awaited decision on the expansion of London’s airport capacity looks set to be delayed again.
The BBC has reported this morning that it understands “The UK government is to defer a decision on airport expansion until the new Conservative Party leader is elected”.
The Airports Commission published its report backing a third runway at Heathrow back in July 2015, but in December Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said that further environmental research needed to be carried out before a decision was made.
At the time McLoughlin said that he anticipated a decision to conclude this summer, but the recent referendum vote to leave the EU and subsequent resignation of David Cameron looks to have delayed the decision again.
Boris Johnson has been a vocal opponent of a third runway at Heathrow, and has previously proposed a new airport to be built in the Thames Estuary, a plan dismissed by the Airports Commission as “unfeasibly expensive, highly problematic in environmental terms” and “hugely disruptive for many businesses and communities”.