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Theresa May will this week chair the cabinet committee on airport expansion, with Heathrow the favourite to secure a new runway

Mark Sands
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All Parliamentary Group Discuss Options For Airport Expansion
A twice delayed verdict is set to emerge by the end of this month (Source: Getty)

Top Tories will meet this week to mull a final verdict on airport expansion, with Heathrow considered the favourite to get the green light.

Theresa May's cabinet committee on airport expansion meets on Tuesday, with a decision on how to expand aviation capacity expected to emerge within days.

That verdict is then expected to be face a full vote in parliament.

It will bring to an end more than a year of uncertainty on the future of the UK's airports.

An independent report by Lord Davies first recommended a new runway at Heathrow last summer, but the government put a decision on hold in order to study the environmental impact, and it was delayed a second time in the run up to the London mayoral election.

Read More: Goldsmith says Heathrow plan is undeliverable

Cicero executive chairman Iain Anderson expects the government to opt for development at Heathrow, despite objections from foreign secretary Boris Johnson and education secretary Justine Greening, both of whom have West London constituencies.

Speaking to City A.M. Anderson said May could portray the verdict as pushing for “more everywhere”, with a consultation likely on “beefing up” airports including Birmingham and Manchester.

It comes after the Sunday Times reported that government has approached Gatwick over alternatives to a new runway to improve capacity at the site, backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Mooted options include boosted road and rail links for the airport.

A Gatwick spokesman said: “Gatwick won't comment on our relationship with the government”.

Today, transport secretary Chris Grayling will be questioned by MPs on the transport select committee. The location of a new runway is likely to be high on the agenda.

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